Miami Police Department joins Twitter, Facebook

Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa decided it was time for his department to start using social media to fight crime.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa decided it was time for his department to start using social media to fight crime.
Roberto Koltun/el Nuevo Herald

We’re seeking suspects in the robbery of two cabbies. We’re investigating a suspicious package on Flagler Street.

These brief crime reports are among the first messages sent out Tuesday from the brand new Twitter and Facebook accounts of the Miami Police Department.

“We want to use social media to fight crime,” said police spokesman Napier Velazquez. “We will put a lot of information on these forums seeking the help of residents and offer real-time updates from major crime scenes.”

A month ago, Police Chief Manuel Orosa decided it was time his department entered the world of social networking.

Velazquez was assigned to research the way other large police departments across the country are using the forums in their work.

“We had heard that it has been effective in other departments,” Velazquez said. “ So for a month I followed Boston police, Broward County, Boca Raton and others to see how they were doing it.”

When Velázquez went to create the department's Twitter account, he discovered that someone had already taken the handle @miamipolicedept.

“It was in Asia! “ Velazquez said. Fortunately, the name @miamipd was still available.

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