Social media changes community policing

Print Article

Last Friday night a shocking post was published by the Moses Lake Police Department on its Facebook page. The police department detailed an incident earlier in the evening in which a man who was riding a horse was struck from behind by a vehicle. The exact details of what happened will unfold as court proceedings progress, but what is known is that the horse was killed in the collision, the man riding the animal was seriously injured, and the driver of the vehicle left the scene of the horrific accident instead of stopping and getting the man help.

The collision happened around 7 p.m. By 10:50 p.m. that night, the MLPD put its PSA up on Facebook about the crash, in which it laid out what happened and urged the public to help find the driver of the suspect vehicle.

The post spread across social media like wildfire. The MLPD says within 15 minutes of its post going up on Facebook, 22-year-old Cooper Wilson was identified as the driver. Fast-forward about 13 hours: the MLPD had Cooper in custody by Saturday afternoon, and the vehicle was recovered. Any cop will no doubt tell you that to have a hit-and-run suspect captured in such a short amount of time is nothing short of remarkable.

Statistics tell us Facebook is by far the most widely used social media platform. Stats also tell us that, according to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of Facebook users visit the site daily, with 51 percent of users visiting several times a day. What happened Friday night could be a case study for those statistics. By the end of the weekend, the MLPD’s post had been shared over four thousand times, commented on over 150 times and engaged with by over 700 people. More important than the statistics, less than 24 hours after a life-changing event, police had a person in custody for, if proven to be true in the courts, a heinous act. Statistics can’t reflect or put a price on a family not having to wonder where or who the person is that shook up their world.

“This is the way it is supposed to work, the community and your police department working together for the common good,” said the MLPD on Facebook. We echo the department’s sentiments. In a world where there are innumerable examples of the harm that social media can do, let’s not forget about the good that it can do as well. A terrible incident occurred Friday night, but thanks to simple shares, thousands of 30-second reads and a community coming together, even if only over a screen, a wanted person was captured and relief was brought to countless people across our tight-knit community.

— Editorial Board

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Renewable energy and agriculture reduce carbon footprint in Central Washington

May 09, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald Last week, the House voted on legislation that would force the president to participate in the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce carbon emissions in the United States and the world. On the surface, t...

Comments

Read More

State should pay its fair share in election funding

April 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald No one should have to choose between safety and democracy. Your county shouldn’t have to prioritize one over the other. But that’s what happens every other year. And that’s exactly what will happen a...

Comments

Read More

A community comes together

April 25, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald If you ventured down Stratford Road in Moses Lake Friday night you may have seen a large number of cars in the parking lot at the Columbia Basin Elks Lodge. And by a large number, we mean a large num...

Comments

Read More

Goodbye to last Doolittle Raider, a hero of the Greatest Generation

April 18, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald On April 9, we said goodbye to a hero of the Greatest Generation. Retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, passed away at the age of 103. In the af...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X