JACKSON COUNTY, MI — Facebook users looking to stay up to date on law enforcement activity in Blackman and Leoni townships now have a new place to look.

The Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety launched a new Facebook page, under the name “Blackman-Leoni Public Safety” on Thursday, June 3. The previous page, “Blackman-Leoni Township Department of Public Safety,” will no longer be used by the department, director Mike Jester said.

At several points throughout the past year, Blackman-Leoni officials experienced technical issues with Facebook that prevented them from posting to their own page, Jester said.

“You can’t ever get any response from (Facebook) to help resolve the problem,” Jester said.

Facebook also would often ask the Blackman-Leoni page administrators to verify the page’s authenticity before being allowed to post again, Jester said, adding that even in the instances in which they would get approved, they would often lose verification again shortly afterward.

Though the department was reluctant to discontinue use of the older page, which currently has about 10,500 followers, Jester said starting a new page was ultimately necessary to keep the public informed.

“Social media is very important for law enforcement agencies,” Jester said. “It’s very valuable to us, and I think it’s valuable to the community.”

In addition to hosting a space where local residents can keep track of public safety activity, Blackman-Leoni will also occasionally post photos of wanted suspects, which have led to the subjects being identified by social media followers on “numerous” occasions, Jester said.

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