We would receive updates from commanders in scheduled internal briefings, and then determine what could be released at each stage without interfering with the investigation.
Q: How many followers did you gain on Facebook and Twitter during the shooting?
A: Twitter, from approximately 5,000 followers to 20,500. FB, from approximately 10,000 "likes" to 15,000.
Q: Talk about the response from the public safety community, seems like people were complimentary of your use. Has anyone reached to you and asked to 'pick your brain?'
A: We have been glad to hear from people in the public safety community, the public and the press that our use of social media in this case was helpful to so many.
Thank you all for your continued support of #HoCoPolice this weekend. It is truly appreciated!— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 27, 2014
Q: Is there a downside to social media? Any cautions to be aware of?
A: This is a big question. The most important thing I think is to verify, verify, verify before releasing any information. Social media moves so fast, it can be tempting to want to keep up with that pace.
But it's important to take your time, be sure of the details and release only when you're truly ready. And if you make a mistake, correct it a quickly as possible.
Investigation shows speculation on photo circulating from Brianna Benlolo's FB page is wrong; young man pictured w/her is ID'd. NOT Aguilar.— Howard County Police (@HCPDNews) January 28, 2014