Western New Jersey

All a 'Snap' for Hackettstown police

VIDEO It's all a 'Snap' for...

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. - A lot of police departments have their own Facebook and Twitter pages, but now one New Jersey department is taking it a step further.

Hackettstown police said "Snapchat" helps it connect with young people and continue a strong community policing model.

For years the Hackettstown police department has been using social media to connect with residents.

"It's a great community policing tool as well,” said Sergeant Darren Tynan. “So I always tell other departments and encourage them to do that."

The department has even solved crimes using Facebook.

"Someone stole a wallet and the person put the name of the person who we were looking for right on Facebook,” added Tynan. “We don't encourage that, but that is just part of our thing that people will do."

A person stole money out of the register at Home Towne hardware in April, and within minutes of the crime being reported, it was posted on the web.

"They get the message out right away depending on what happens, if they need the public's help on something," said the hardware store's owner, Stewart Ginsberg.

Now the department is listening to the public once again by adding Snapchat. Not the normal crime fighting tool, but Tynan said it's a way to attract an even younger audience.

"They just want to see a picture, a quick blurb,” said Tynan. “See what's going on instead of reading a full press release of something that we did."

The only difference with Snapchat is you can't report a crime to the Hackettstown police.  It's more for fun so that you can see what happens behind the scenes.

"We'll get notified when people add us on Snapchat, but it is not in any way used for a crime fighting tool," said Tynan.

Tynan said calling 911 is still the preferred method when reporting a crime, but add them on Snapchat for a little entertainment.

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