Stephenville, Texas, Sheriff's Office Considers Social Media Monitoring Service

The service would capture comments before they could be deleted, and send alerts for potential threats or distressed language, among other features.

by Autumn Owens, Stephenville Empire-Tribune, Texas / August 15, 2017
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(TNS) -- Sheriff Matt Coates and Chief Deputy Heath Crossland presented information to commissioners Monday on signing up for a social media archiving service, which would help capture threatening or emergency posts made on the sheriff's office's social media pages.

"One of the issues is that we put out all this information on our Facebook page and we get a lot of comments and some can be potential threats," Crossland said. "We can't actively archive them without a screen shot right now and that takes time to go through all those comments."

The service would document the posts not only for Facebook, but other social media pages the sheriff's office uses and will notify them based on the language and archive them for retrieval at any time.

"This captures it before someone can delete the comment and would allow us to get an alert when there's a potential threat or let us know if someone is in distress based on language that is posted," Crossland said. "It will document all responses that could potentially be used in some type of investigation or for public records use."

There would be a cost for the service, but the fees would include 10 different accounts that other officials could use.

Judge Tab Thompson said commissioners would look over the information, but no action was taken.

Crossland also submitted information about updating and replacing cameras and other software for the sheriff's office and Erath County Jail through a new company called Guardian.

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