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Utica Councilman Frank Vescera Calls For Meetings On Utica Police Facebook Page Being Taken Down, ”The Pluses Outweight The Negatives”

WIBX

Utica councilman Frank Vescera believes the Utica Police Facebook page was taken down prematurely, with no discussion about how to make it better before simply deactivating the page.

”You have 25,000 fans of this [page]….since it began in 2010, it just seems the pluses outweigh the negatives,” Vescera said. ”It’s not just popular, it’s working.”

”You have 74% of agencies around the country that say social media has helped them solve crimes in their jurisdictions”, he said. ”In Utica, Vescera says the UPD facebook page helped police make arrests in several felonies, including a bank robbery. People told me this offered them a sense of comfort because they knew exactly what was happening.”

”When you 25,000 people looking at this site regularly, the odds are the concentration helps, and its proven that.”

Vescera said he didn’t approve of the racist and negative comments, but used this example to clarify.

”In California years ago, they suffered from smog and they still do. They didn’t say lets get rid of cars. The came up with one of the best emission control systems to deal with the issue. You don’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Instead of just banning something they tried to work it out,” Vescera said.

The councilman said he would have preferred if the mayor called a meeting to discuss the issue and develop solutions, rather than simply banning it.

Later in the program, we spoke to one of our own social media specialists who indicated it would be possible to eliminate all comments, or at least require administrative approval before public comments were posted to the page – as Keeler suggested as a solution.

The Police department did indicate to WIBX that they were working on a solution.

Listen to full interview with Councilman Vescera from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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