South Bend Police: when to post and when to call

South Bend Police: when to post and when to call

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - South Bend police are urging citizens to listen up and asking that the public make the right call in any potential emergency situation so they can avoid any close calls using the same device.

“It is not the way to report any non-emergency crimes, or especially emergency crimes,” said Ken Garcia, Spokesman for South Bend Police Department.

The South Bend Police Department is responding after they say they were notified of a man on a six story ledge Friday afternoon in downtown South Bend, but it’s not the call they’re worried about because at first, there wasn’t one.

“We received a tweet to our Twitter account that someone took a picture of a person sitting up on top of the parking garage,” said Garcia.

Garcia says an officer responded and everything turned out to be ok, however it could have gone much worse had it been an emergency.

“People do try to communicate exclusively through social media and while we like it, there's not someone sitting there watching Twitter all day,” said Garcia.

Garcia says he’s seen several crime reports come from social media users in the last few months.

“It’s 2017 and I get it a lot of people.. 'Whoa there's something going on, you should take a picture tweet the police department’. Someone is not monitoring all day long, so if something happens in the middle of the night, it’s going to go for several hours before someone sees it,” said Garcia.

A post to social media could cost the police minutes or even hours. And while you may see police or other department staff posting online about what is happening…

“When we send out tweets of a shooting that may have taken place for an accident already gone through our dispatch system for the time we tweeted our officers are already been told was happening and they are responding,” said Garcia.

They say even one potential close call, or post, is one too many.

“We like it that people communicate with us on social media, but when it comes to crime specifically, old school phone calls is the best way to get a response from the police department,” said Garcia.

According to the National Sheriff’s Association, the average police response time is already 18 minutes, unless it’s a priority-one phone call, such as a shooting or domestic violence call. This could also impact police response time on top of  the time it takes to see a social media post.

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