COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After a record homicide year in Columbus, Columbus Police said overall, violent crime was actually down. The Division said a virtual army is helping them solve crimes and get repeat offenders off the streets.
Police said social media has been a huge crime-fighting tool for them over the past year; a simple post allows them to reach thousands in the community like they’ve never been able to before.
Columbus Police said rape, robbery and aggravated assaults were all down and that simple posts on Facebook and Twitter lead to valuable tips.
“Through social media we’re getting more and more people identifying these suspects,” said Sgt. Dean Worthington.
Longtime North Linden resident John Lathram said social media has helped unite his neighborhood.
“There’s a fellowship with our neighbors that I don’t think would be there without social media,” said Lathram.
He said the traditional block watch has gone virtual, allowing more eyes to see and share problems with everyone who lives in North Linden, not just those who attend a block watch meeting.
“It gives people a voice in their community and makes them feel part of the community,” said Lathram.
Police can’t say for certain why overall violent crime went down, just that social media is playing a part in helping them get violent offenders off the streets.