Huber Heights police: Facebook no place to report a crime

Too many people are trying to report crimes on social media instead of picking up the phone.

While regular users of Facebook are aware that most pages have the option to send a direct message, the Huber Heights Police Division just got rid of that feature, saying it’s actually hurting their ability to fight crime.

More and more people are choosing to report crimes on social media.

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“I think that’s crazy. Yeah … that does’t make sense to me,” said Huber Heights resident Lisa Farrell.

The city says it’s not effective.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, the police division announced it would disable the page’s direct message function. “Our Facebook page is not monitored 24/7 and we are concerned that an emergency or serious incident is going to be overlooked.”

“I guess it goes back to my age and the way we did things, but I think I would just go to the actual law enforcement place,” said Gina Dunfee of Troy.

But, Dunfee said, it also points to a growing reliance on social media, and the need to distinguish between what should and should not happen online.

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“I think a lot of people, when they think of Facebook, they just automatically assume that they can do it that way,” Dunfee said Dunfee, who added that the Huber Heights Police Division is likely not alone. “I’m sure it’s happening everywhere.”

The department says crimes always should be reported by calling either 911 or its non-emergency number — not via social media.

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