The Mounties got their man but may have lost the confidence of many. The manhunt that was carried out after an officer was shot and injured during a traffic stop near Golden should be a lesson in communication for police. Gone are the days that RCMP/city police can keep the public in the dark. Social media may be the bane of law enforcement across the country but it also has to be a tool and some do it better than others.
Unfortunately from the moment the officer was shot the RCMP missed their opportunity to use social media. Motorists stuck on the TransCanada while the crime scene was blocked off had no idea what was happening. The Golden-Field twitter account and Facebook page gave them no updates. The last entry on Golden-Field twitter Sept 15 “We’re Hiring”. Facebook, prior to yesterday afternoon’s update on the suspect being found was a reminder to drive safely for the Thanksgiving weekend.
When the road was finally opened residents in Golden and Revelstoke were wondering if the suspect had been found.
In both instances RCMP should have been sending out updates via traditional media and social media. I know these are different times for police and the public. We live in a 24/7 news world and the more timely information that can be shared the more trust and confidence the public will have with police.