ST. CLOUD -- Social media like Facebook and Twitter are making their way into more police departments across Minnesota. Members of the Minnesota Association of Police Chiefs are hearing about ways to use it as part of their annual conference in St. Cloud this week.

Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell says it's a great way to connect with the community.  He says they can provide information about crime prevention, community calendar events, the good work being done within the department and also get feedback.

Schnell says it also provides another tool to help with community policing. Tips and other evidence gathered through social media are often used in their investigations.

Social media like Facebook and Twitter are becoming more popular tools for law enforcement and Schnell believes it will be common in every department soon.  He says there has been a big push in the last few years to utilize it as a way to connect with their community.


Schnell says they mostly use Facebook and Twitter to keep the community informed and get feedback, but he says they also use it in investigations.