Social Media Launch

Published 07/18 2014 11:28PM

Updated 07/18 2014 11:47PM

The Madera County Sheriff's Office is diving deeper into the digital world, creating social media sites to speed up its communication with the public.

Sheriff John Anderson never thought police work would cross lines with the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to help fight crime.

"I'm probably from the era of putting up the 10 most wanted in the post office," said Sheriff John Anderson.

Anderson has now realized that leaping into the 21st century just makes sense.

"It's just fast, easy and doesn't cost us anything," said Sheriff Anderson.

In just a short time, their Facebook page has generated 86,000 hits.  To give you some perspective, Madera County has roughly 154,000 people.

"There's no way other than with a really serious incident, involving you guys (the media) coming out to talk to us, that we could reach 86,000 people in a short period of time," said Sheriff Anderson.

Something you'll notice each week is Fugitive Friday.  Three wanted suspects were posted the morning of July 18th and in a matter of hours someone phoned in a tip saying Jason Kissee was already in jail down in San Bernadino County facing battery charges.

"Normally they (the jail) will notify us 12 hours beforehand and say oh by the way this guy is making bail," said Sheriff Anderson.

In this case, detectives have an advantage because Kissee is not scheduled to be released until next week.

"If we know we've got the guy we can make sure we've got a solid case before we send someone down," said Sheriff Anderson.

The pages are used for important neighborhood notifications as well, like in Parkwood recently, where 600 homeowners were warned about possibly contaminated water.

"I think it can be a two way street. They can provide us information and we can provide the public information," said Sheriff Anderson.

If social media is not your thing you'll be happy to hear that Madera County's Emergency Alert System is still in place to deliver a phone call to you when important news happens.

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