It case you’ve missed it, the world has become a very “wired” place.

Faster than the blink of an eye, data is transmitted across the globe to the computers, television sets and cellular telephones in our homes and pockets. Such interconnectivity has spurned on an entire new industry, called social networking, where people communicate through Web sites linked to smart phones and PCs.

One of the most popular social networking sites today is Facebook, which has been both an informational boon or plague, depending on who is asked.

Facebook has created issues for school administrators, for example, who attempt to filter such Web sites so the negative uses of social networking, such as cyber bullying, do not pervade the classroom. And, employers often find their productivity in question due to excessive “updating” of information on sites, instead of actual work being done.

A benefit of social networking, however, seems to be in the realm of community policing where the anonymous nature of postings to Facebook pages has, at least in one Maine community, has brought significant leads in unsolved cases.

Now, the York County Sheriff’s Department, particularly Deputy Matt Nadeau (the contract officer for Arundel) is putting the technology in place to protect the citizens of one of its patrol areas.


We say, good job, and keep it up.

Since many within Maine have become computer savvy, but might still harbor the fears of being active when it comes to reporting crime, having an accepted area to post incidents without fear of harm is a good way to increase community involvement.

Now, if a crime occurs within Arundel, Nadeau can not only alert his Facebook “friends” of the incident, but those with information can “friend” him as well, and post details of the alleged crime.

Just as neighborhood watch groups in the past have developed to protect citizens from the criminal element within communities, so the same can happen with social networking. The tool, as we see it, can be particularly beneficial to small communities where, due to cuts in patrol spending or a lack of a dedicated officer such as Nadeau, the presence of police cruisers might be diminished.

If the Arundel experiment works (and, by the way, Facebook sites are free), it should be rolled out to more communities within the Sheriff’s patrol duties, and other towns and cities with their own forces.

Information is power, and being able to share it without fear could be a great asset to those hoping to keep us safe from those not bound by the laws, rules and regulations the majority hold dear.

Questions? Comments? Contact Publisher Drew McMullin by calling 282-1535, Ext. 332, or via e-mail at, or Managing Editor Nick Cowenhoven by calling 282-1535, Ext. 327, or via e-mail at

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