Police forces have leveraged social media to the point where common cyberspace platforms like Twitter and Facebook are changing the way forces of all sizes do their work.
Here's a great example. Timothy J. Henton writes on the FBI's website that social media is in fact on its way to becoming the modern version of the cop on the corner. His article talks about how many law enforcement officials are coming to see social media as a way to inform the public directly without going through more traditional media outlets.
Beyond social media's ability to connect us and keep everyone informed and safe directly, police forces are seeing the benefits of using CCTV Camera Systems to get still pictures and video to use in conjunction with platforms like Facebook. Industry websites like Security Management offer articles on the tips these pictures and videos can bring to investigations. Bringing these types of technologies together will be one of the challenges that modern police forces will face going forward and the smart money will bet on mobile applications finding their rightful place in the mix.
There's little doubt social media is changing the way police do their work, but that doesn't mean having a cop on the corner via Twitter will take the place of conventional Life Safety Systems or Environmental Systems when it comes to home or business security anytime soon. For example, technologies like burner-lockout sensors that detect when a heating system goes into lockout mode and other home or business security modules that control functions like lighting and appliances are better controlled for now with access from a touch tone phone.
Still, all eyes are on the ability of social media to find common ground with these more traditional hardwired technologies to allow police to do their work in more innovative ways in the not too distant future.