New Social Media Tools Help Citizens Solve Crime
Silent Witness of Laramie County has launched a new website and Facebook page where citizens can submit tips and see the different crimes that the agencies are seeking help with.
"The Silent Witness program in Laramie County was started in the mid-80s and basically we've always used a phone line for the tips coming in," said Silent Witness Board President Don Heiduck. "With social media now, we thought this would be the best move forward."
Heiduck says a growing number of cases are being solved thanks in part to social media.
"That is the way most people communicate," said Heiduck. "Most of the information we do get, in a lot of the cases, is not necessarily from a phone call or from somebody coming to either one of the agencies, it's actually coming in through the venues of social media."
Heiduck says, just like the phone line, individuals who give tips online will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1000.
"We thought we should move forward as far as being able to receive tips anonymously the same way that we do on a phone line," said Heiduck. "The same person that runs the phone line is the same one that gets us tips off the website."
Of course, tips can still be called in at (307) 638-TIPS.
"The phone line has always been the mainstay for the Silent Witness program and we still wanted to leave that as a possible option," said Heiduck. "I think the addition (of the new website and Facebook page) is a huge step for the Silent Witness program. We can use this for our investigations as another tool to hopefully solve crimes and better serve our community."