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DUI suspects may be shamed on Facebook, Twitter

Councilman Dwyer urges Police Department to post names of suspects online. Chief says they are looking into the idea.

November 15, 2010|Britney Barnes, britney.barnes@latimes.com

The Huntington Beach Police Department is looking into publishing DUI arrestees on its new Facebook page after a councilman's urging for public shaming.

Police Chief Ken Small announced at the Monday City Council meeting that the Police Department has launched Facebook page and Twitter accounts last week and is looking into posting the names of those arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

"We do plan to talk to the city attorney's office and if we can do that we will make it available on our Facebook page," Small said.

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Councilman Devin Dwyer asked Small to look into the possibility because the local newspapers don't post names of arrestees online. The Independent decided to ax the standing feature due to a change in editorial policy.

Dwyer said he likes the idea publicly "shaming" those that drive drunk.

The department started utilizing the social media sites to enhance its interactions with the community.

The Facebook and Twitter accounts are the newest in a string of actions the department has taken to make information more readily available for residents.

The Police Department has allowed residents to file police reports online, access traffic reports, and search through crime data and calls for service online, Small said.

"All of these things are meant to approve the way we interact and to make information available" to our community," Small said.

The department is still considering posting the names of DUI arrestees on its website.

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