• Gwinnett County looking at using social media after snow storms

    By: Tony Thomas


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - It seems social media is now everywhere, but Gwinnett County has held back, not allowing official Twitter use for police or any other function.
    Channel 2's Tony Thomas found the recent snow storms have leaders reconsidering their stance.
    “The more information you have, the better off we all are because then you can react quickly,” resident Louisa Robinson told Thomas.
    Getting breaking information on Twitter or Facebook is just a part of everyday life for many people.
    “I do like to get a lot of traffic from it,” Gwinnett resident Phillip Lynch said.
    But if you live in Gwinnett, the county has so far refused to join the crowd. Administrators cite legal and safety concerns.
    “What can I say? We are just so darn conservative,” Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said.
    But across metro Atlanta police departments, cities and other agencies use social media every hour to get their messages out. 
    On Tuesday afternoon Marietta and Snellville police asked for social media help to find missing persons.
    Atlanta police tweeted out the location of wrecks and tie-ups. APD also frequently posts surveillance video on YouTube. 
    During the recent storms several agencies used social media for road and safety information.
    Gwinnett officials now say they will consider using Twitter and Facebook for emergency situations.
    “We may be slow, but when it hits us on the head we know that we need to take a look at it,” Nash told Thomas.
    Gwinnett County government does have a Twitter account. Four-and–a-half years ago it boasted "preparing to go live and Twitter is a go," but since then only one Tweet.
    “I do think ultimately governments, especially bigger ones like this one, are probably going to have to look to social media to be a part of that coverage," said resident Matt Graves.

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