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Ok, not THE NCIS – the long running NCIS TV Show.

Did you see it?  In the episode “Under the radar”, McGee (Sean Murray) with inspiration from Abby (Pauley Perrette) comes up with the bright idea to track a light aircraft using Twitter.

The issue they had was that the plane could fly under FAA radar, which was a problem because it was carrying a bomb and someone willing to use it.

imageAbby calls in a favor from a drummer friend who is popular on Twitter. He retweets a message which initiates responses about sightings from around the region.
The sightings are tracked on the MTAC map which eventually leads to a target for the would-be bomber.

Does it sound a little far fetched?   Maybe not so much.   Social Media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more are being used more and more by Law Enforcement as audiences grow.

It works too – information is being ever rapidly disseminated through Social Media Networks, often faster and further afield than traditional methods.   There are times that “Traditional Media” (newspapers, TV, Radio etc) are gleaning news and information from Facebook pages to put out through their channels.

The Pennsylvania Borough of Munhall operates its Munhall Crimewatch Facebook page.  The 4,100 followers avidly follow the posts. Comments, shares, and information received through the page has proven to be absolutely invaluable.
Things like “Felony Friday’s” tend to attract some attention.

Munhall isn’t the only Police Department finding value in Social Networks – Departments including Fargo ND, and Fort Myers FL are also leveraging their followers to  spread and receive information.

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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