The use of social media has grown exponentially since its inception in the early 2000s. These days, it is ingrained into the very fabric of our culture.
That’s why the Jones County Sheriff’s Department has started “LIVE SO”. Live SO, short for “Live Sheriff’s Office” is a weekly 30 minute Facebook live show hosted by Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge and his Public Relations Director, Allyson Knotts. The duo address issues in the community and take questions from their viewers, in an effort to connect with the community they police on a different level.
“It’s just keeping people connected, it’s keeping people informed. And what I like most about it is it just puts us right out front,” said Sheriff Hodge. “I mean it’s just ‘here it is’. It’s not about fame or fortune, it’s the good the bad and the ugly and that’s what it’s been– I think that’s why people appreciate it so much, it’s because you ask, we answer.”
Sheriff Hodge says that using social media has been a game changer for the department, bringing tangible results to the county.
“On the proactive side of what we’ve been able to do with social media is solve cases,” explained Sheriff Hodge. “Our investigators many times go straight to social media, whether it be Facebook, any of them, Twitter, Instagram, and start doing research and stuff and we’re able to actually go and find a lot of different clues and tips that have led to a number of arrests in burglary cases and other things.”
Next week’s episode of “Live SO” was recorded Friday at the Laurel Wal-Mart due to scheduling conflicts. But Sheriff Hodge says that he encourages the people of Jones County to keep on tuning in and keep on participating in the live videos every Wednesday.