Police in Vestavia Hills are looking for a man who they say tried to rob BBVA Compass Bank. Bank surveillance camera photos of the suspect from the attempted robbery have been posted to the Vestavia Hills Police Department Facebook page.
Increasingly police departments are turning to social media sites to share information and alert the public about wanted individuals. Facebook has increasingly become a valuable crime fighting tool for banks and police investigators.
If you're a Bank Security Officer you may want to do a few things to improve your chances of catching perps:
1) Implement procedures that allow immediate transfer of video and photos to Internet-friendly formats. The faster the images are available, the better the chances of catching criminals.
2) Determine immediately upon an incident whether the local police department has a Facebook or other social media site established for the purpose of distributing images and video to the public.
3) Do not post any photos or video of the crime on the bank's Facebook page without first consulting with the local police department. They may have a strategy that may conflict with your strategy. So if the bank wishes to post photos or video, first run it past the police department. In addition, posting such information may create reputational harm by giving the impression to customers that visit the bank's Facebook page that the bank's branches are not safe. So having the information posted on the police department site may be the best bet.