Role of social media in law enforcement - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Role of social media in law enforcement

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Black River Falls, WI (WXOW) - -

The use of Facebook Live during a standoff in Black River Falls earlier this week raised some questions about the role of social media in crime response.

While law enforcement worked to secure the area and get Denzel Sanders to surrender, Sanders turned to Facebook. He streamed the situation live from inside of the home.

Jackson County Sheriff Duane Woldera said officers were notified about the video; however, it is not always easy for law enforcement to get access to the post.

"There are tools that we are working to get it so that we can grab it as a law enforcement agency, but it doesn't happen quick," Woldera said. "You have other people. You need to contact Facebook. You need to have subpoenas and some certain paperwork filed. Well, this is real. It's going on right now. So, it does have some delay which I wish we could avoid."

He said that the video gave officers a better understanding of what they were dealing with during the standoff.

"In this situation, we did have confirmation that the individual had been in possession of firearms. It was very obvious in the publication, and then also, he was using marijuana or a substance that was contributing to this issue," Woldera said. "So, that's very powerful for our Command Post and how we structure our response."

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office keeps an active Facebook page. Users who see a crime happening in a video or post should forward the information to that page, leading to a quicker and more efficient response.

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