MPD Fighting Crime with Social Media

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, July 24 2013 at 6:14 PM, Updated: Thu, July 25 2013 at 10:33 AM

Instant access to information, that's what the Medford Police is trying to do as they jump on the social media bandwagon.

With the click of a mouse...

"According to the stats, 34,000 people that we've reached," said Lt. Mike Budreau.

Medford Police can now instantly tell people what's happening and who they're looking for by using social media..

"It's had a lot of success," Lt. Budreau said.

On Wednesday morning...

"Posted the photo of these two individuals. You can see one person that was arrested...and another person that's wanted that we're looking for," said Lt. Budreau as he perused MPD's Facebook page.

Authorities are asking for help to track down Brandon Bigham, one of the suspects in a recent RV theft case.

"We put the information out in the middle of the day and now we know people on Facebook are looking for them right now," said Lt. Budreau.

It was just over a week ago that MPD began using social media. So far they have more than 1600 likes on Facebook, a number of followers on Twitter, and already...

"We think Facebook helped out on probably our first post that we did."

The initial post, shared by almost a hundred people showed a picture of a suspect and his truck that police linked to a flatbed trailer theft in Medford.

"We are getting anonymous tips about stuff that we are putting on Facebook that is helping clear the case."

He said Facebook and the Twittersphere are more tools police can use to fight crime.

"The more people we have out being our eyes and ears the more successful we are at clearing cases and arresting bad guys."

For now, authorities are hoping tips from Facebook and Twitter will help them find the latest suspect, wanted since May.

Medford Police said social media is doing more than just helping with active investigations.

Lt. Mike Budreau said the department receive several questions a day on Facebook from people who are unsure of what to do in their particular situations.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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