Marion's CIRT Team Means Business, And Is Saying So Via Facebook

By Jeff Neumeyer

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM EDT

MARION, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Social networking is getting more popular all the time as a way to connect with friends.

Now the Marion police force is using its Facebook page to warn people causing trouble that the department won't put up with nonsense.

A special crime-fighting unit called the CIRT team did some patrolling Monday night on Boots Street, where they'd been getting a number of citizen complaints.

Earlier on Monday, Sgt. Ross Allen forewarned that police were serious about cracking down on things like curfew violations, drug and noise problems and general mischief through a post on the department's Facebook page.

It talked of police visiting a couple of neighborhoods where "the criminal element is bothering the 95 percent of good, honest citizens.”

The message concluded with, "to my 95%, have a great day, to my 5%, see you soon."

" My intention behind that was to just let the good majority of the public know that, hey, we're here for them. When you put something like that on Facebook, you get a good response," said Sgt. Allen, who claims he uses the help of his two teenage daughters when he gets stumped about a Facebook problem.

The department started its Facebook page in January 2010.

Allen says Marion Police will often post pictures of wanted fugitives, or those with outstanding warrants on the Facebook site.

" A lot of times people don't even like the fact they're on Facebook. They will actually call in and say, hey, look, if I turn myself in, will you take me off the Facebook page. They don't like the notoriety," Allen said.

" There's a lot of people that can say things to us that maybe they wouldn't feel free to come and talk to us in person. But you know, they will over the Facebook," says David Day, the Deputy Chief over uniformed officers.

Nearly 6,400 people have "liked" the Marion Police Facebook page.

The CIRT Team planned to be back out on special patrol Tuesday evening, guided by citizen input from a social networking tool you wouldn't normally associate with crime fighting.

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