You can get Amber Alerts on your Facebook
Thu, 13 Jan 2011 22:47:22 GMT —
Amber Alerts have saved the lives of more than 500 children during the program's 15-year existence.
They will now be more accessible to more people.
The alerts will be sent to your Facebook pages the same way updates from friends and businesses are, in the hopes that more people will be able to help law enforcement find missing children.
"I think it's going to be great because just about everyone now has Facebook. Especially with Macomb being a college town and with that generation, I think everyone has Facebook and that's going to put the alerts out immediately to everyone," said Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker has served in law enforcement for 17 years.
With the addition of Facebook to its arsenal to help keep people safe.
I asked him how things have changed since he first came into law enforcement for this KHQA Safe Family Crime report.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker said, "When I first started we maybe had three computers in the entire department and the printers were all the dot matrix with the great big sheets."
Now almost every Macomb Police Officer has a smart phone and a computer inside their squad car. And, the rear view mirrors in the squad cars aren't just mirrors, they also double as video cameras. The video from those cameras is wirelessly downloaded into the department's computer system as soon as they pull in the parking lot.
Barker said, "Anytime you have some kind of technology out there that can help you catch the bad guys, I think it's great."
Right off the top of his head Barker thought of two instances where technology played a major role in cases. He says in a recent car break in, the suspect dropped a cigarette butt. That butt was sent to the state crime lab in Springfield, tested for DNA and the suspect was caught. Another instance is the shooting at Farm King in February of 2010. Police used a robot to go inside the building to find the shooter.
Barker said, "If you can keep officers out of harms way by using technology or a machine then of course, that's going to be an advantage."
As technology continues to change, the possibilities for police departments like Macomb, are endless.
Barker said, "Everyday I'm amazed. I pick up a new technology magazine and I see something else and I'm thinking wow I think I could use that for law enforcement."
The Macomb Police Department has a Facebook page.
You can use it to find out what's happening in Macomb.