Leesburg police say social media isn't the place to report a crime

Are people posting on social media instead of dialing 911?

On Monday, the Leesburg Police Department sent out this message on Facebook: “We would like to remind everyone that Facebook is not an outlet for official notification to the police department, as it's not monitored 24/7 and not intended for that purpose.”

“Anytime somebody has investigative leads, or they need to report a crime, or they need assistance from law enforcement - we would ask that they just not contact us via social media, that they would call us at non-emergency or 911 lines,” said Capt. Joe Iozzi.

For example, Iozzi says the department sometimes gets tips through social on open investigations.

“Likely, we wouldn’t want that information to be out in the public,” he said.

So, is this a sign of the times?

“People spend so much time on social media today, as you know. They’re all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. So, it’s no surprise to me that consumers are posting their emergencies on there thinking that the police are constantly monitoring this 24/7,” said Tom Jelneck, of On Target Digital Marketing.

A lot of agencies, like the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, are forced to spell it out in the ‘About’ section that the page is not for reporting emergencies or crimes.

Law enforcement says regarding this social media trend, it’s better to be old-fashioned.