Sioux Falls Police: Don’t Use Social Media as 911

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Social media has made it easier to communicate, but Sioux Falls Police want to remind folks that it doesn’t work for everything. When it comes to reporting tips and crimes, the “old fashioned” way works best. 

Like many organizations, the Sioux Falls Police Department has a Facebook and Twitter account. 

 “Just trying to I guess kind of pull back the curtain and let people know what we’re doing. Things that may not be newsworthy or crime related, but when we have awards given out to officers or citizens. We have new officers that begin their careers, we have officers that retire. And especially anything that involves canines. People always love seeing the dogs,” said Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department. 

Sometimes people will send crime tips or information about suspicious activity to those social media pages. Whether that’s through private messages on Facebook or tweeting at the police department. 

“We’ll gladly take any of that information when that stuff comes in. We also pass it on to the appropriate detectives,” said Officer Clemens. 

 However, police say in most cases, that’s not the most effective method.

“Our social media accounts are not monitored 24 hours a day, so if it happens on a Friday night somebody may notice over the weekend or it may wait until Monday until someone sees it,” said Officer Clemens. 

If it’s an emergency, they urge people to call 9-1-1 or contact the non-emergency line if you want to talk to an officer right away.

Most of the tips police receive over social media are about bad driving. 

“We are not able to take enforcement off of an action that somebody sees. We need to to be able to see that ourselves. So if they call we have a better chance of finding that person and see what’s going on,” said Clemens. 

Officers say they’ve also had crime victims try to file police reports through social media, which the department cannot accept. However, you can call 605-367-7212 or file a report on the city’s website: https://www.siouxfalls.org/police/online-citizen-report

If you have a police tip, but are looking to stay anonymous the police department recommends you reach out to Crime Stoppers. You can call 605-367-7007 or download the free app called “P3 Tips.”

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