Hoping to capitalize on social media to prevent crime and keep the community informed, the Grand Forks Police Department has established its own YouTube channel.
Plans for the channel, which will be operated by the department's community resource bureau, started about a month ago.
The department will use the channel to post videos about safety, crime prevention tips and give updates on investigations.
The first video posted Wednesday is an educational piece on synthetic drugs, which authorities believe have been responsible for the deaths of two teenage males in the past month.
Lt. Roger Pohlman said the channel should allow people easier access to information on police programs.
He said it's difficult to say how popular the site will be, but said if people pick up the videos and post them on their Facebook pages, it could gain more exposure.
"That's so hard to gauge," he said. "You know how social media is. You never know what might get picked up and shared and shared."
Pohlman said other police departments have also started up YouTube channels, citing some in the Minneapolis suburbs.
"I'm not sure how prevalent it is," he said. "As far as community policing and crime prevention, this is a valuable tool we can take advantage of."
He said the department will take suggestions from the public for material that could be posted on the website.
On the Web: View GFPD YouTube Channel here.
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