Here is one more example of how the police use social media to combat crime. In this case, a woman wearing hospital scrubs stole a newborn baby from a Canadian hospital. Shortly after discovering the abduction, the police made several social media posts describing the would be kidnapper and the car she was driving. Several citizens recognized the woman from the posts and tracked her down. These citizens then alerted the police who arrested the woman and rescued the baby.
This example illustrates how law enforcement uses social media to reach out and engage the public. Through this engagement, law enforcement can turn every day citizens into virtual deputies who assist with the apprehension of suspects and crime prevention. Like with anything, virtual deputies do have a downside; however, as demonstrated by this case, they also have a tremendous upside.