Police turn to Facebook

Wells Police

WELLS, MN — A southern Minnesota town is keeping their eyes open after a recent alert by their police department.

In three separate reports, children say two older white males in a red minivan approached them and asked if they wanted candy.

The Wells Police Department warned resident of this via Facebook. Just like they had hoped, word is spreading fast.

Jessica Schrader is someone who has used Facebook for a little while now so she did not pay too much attention to a recent post.

“I thought it was from a parent initially because I’ve heard it from a lot of people, I didn’t actually go online and look at it,” Schrader said.

But when she learned that it was the Wells Police Department that posted it, she took notice.

“Knowing that they do that, I probably would have taken it more seriously right away,” Schrader said.

The Wells Police Department is hoping more people follow suit. Officers realize it is an efficient way to spread the word.

“Social media has made it easier to get information out quickly. We thought as a police department we could get that information out quickly to everybody in town, or most people are connected somehow to Facebook or Twitter,” said Officer Tim Brenegan of the Wells Police Department.

He knows what they are putting up is being seen.

“One of the first posts I posted last night was on this red van just to get the information out to the public here in town and I think it said it was viewed over 4400 times already,” Brenegan said.

He says Facebook does not only have to spread bad news, he also believes it can connect his department to those they protect.

“We want to have the community be involved with the police department more. We though it would be a good way to kind of give them insight as to who we are as a police department,” Brenegan said.

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As a Wells resident, Schrader says good news or bad she thinks it is a good resource to use.

“I’ll probably make sure we’re friends so I get the alerts because I can get them in my email too so then I would know for sure. Yeah, I think it’s a good idea because we didn’t get anything from the school until after the fact,” Schrader said.

Those at the Wells Police Department want residents to know to keep their eyes peeled and remember they can call anytime with a concern.

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