OGDEN -- Two local law enforcement agencies are bringing felons to Facebook as they expand social media efforts to help keep the public informed.
Both the Ogden City Police Department and Weber County Sheriff's Office recently created Facebook pages that allow community members to interact with the department and learn about what police are doing.
"It's a nice, positive way to communicate with the community," said Ogden Assistant Police Chief Marcy Korgenski. "We encourage two-way communication. We want to hear comments or concerns, and this is a forum for people to voice that. We like the idea of having rapid response to concerns."
Patsy Winchester, crime analyst for the sheriff's office, said they started the Facebook page two months ago, replacing a business watch bulletin that was sent out monthly to local businesses with the same content that is now posted on the Web.
"Facebook put the incidents up a little faster," Winchester said. "What good is it to know what happened a month ago? Plus, a lot more people are on Facebook, so it gets it out to more than just the businesses."
On their pages, both agencies detail recent arrests that were made and safety tips for community members. They also have posts that ask for the public's help, seeking information on stolen items or people of interest in crimes.
"If it's of interest to the public (we'll post it online)," Winchester said. "It's just to keep the public alert."
Both Winchester and Korgenski said they have not received very many tips from the public through the social media site.
"We're so new, we haven't seen the full possibilities yet," Korgenski said. "We don't have a widespread knowledge that we have a Facebook page yet. We're making progress that way."
While Winchester said she is responsible solely for updating the Facebook page with new information, Korgenski said Ogden police have members from each bureau in the department contributing daily to the page.
Winchester and Korgenski said that while their departments' focus is currently on maintaining a relevant Facebook page, both said they would like to expand into other social media worlds, such as Twitter, in the future.
"Right now, we're just focused on Facebook," Korgenski said. "We want to do it properly and professionally. After that, we'll see."
Both pages can be found on Facebook by typing "Ogden City Police" and "Weber County Sheriff's Office" in the search box.