Olive Branch Police Focus On Social Media To Catch Crooks

Olive Branch Police Focus On Social Media To Catch Crooks

Social media has gotten so big, it has forced the Olive Branch Police Department to create a new division just to keep track of it.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Social media has gotten so big, it has forced the Olive Branch Police Department to create a new division just to keep track of it.

Major Tim Presley is now head of the Administrative Services Division. Presley was in charge of criminal investigations.

Olive Branch police rely on tips from social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Even email to help catch criminals.

Major Tim Presley said tips pour in and it takes a seasoned officer, like himself, to decide which tips police should follow.

"There just wasn't enough time in a day to get done what you needed to get done," Presley said.

Presley has his hands full. As head of the new administrative services division, he doesn't expect to lighten his load. Presley's not complaining.

He said social media is no longer just a way to socialize.

It's much more to the Olive Branch Police Department. With more than 13,000 "likes" on the department’s Facebook page, Presley said tips pour in constantly. Some lead to the arrest of criminals. He said that is why it is so important to respond to those tips quickly.

"We found so many citizens are wanting to help us but you've gotta communicate with ‘em. They've gotta know what's going on," Presley said.

Citizens do know what's going on thanks to the Facebook page.

Presley posts mugshots of suspects. He said in a matter of minutes, he gets a tip.

"You can only be as good of a of as ur citizens will support you," Presley said.

Presley has always kept up with the social media sites but he was also in charge of criminal investigations.

"I still review all the reports on a daily basis because there maybe something I want to put on social media so I'm still very connected to what they do and I kinda miss some of that," Presley said.

Although he does miss it, Presley said he had become so overloaded with social media. It needed, and deserved, his undivided attention.

Presley said he now has more time to communicate with people. And the number of people continue to grow. Olive Branch has grown from 3,500 people in 1990, to 36,000 today.

Also interesting, in 1990, Olive Branch had only 10 police officers. There are 76 today.
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