Sheriff Gary Toelke

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has entered the world of social networking.

At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, the department launched its Facebook page and within 24 hours gained a following of nearly 500 “friends,” the department reported.

Purpose of the page is to increase public awareness of law enforcement and public safety efforts, according to Sheriff Gary Toelke.

Also, it will enable the department to be more transparent for citizens, Toelke said.

The page will be used to improve communication and collaboration with the public, inform citizens about the department and services it provides and, at times, solicit the public’s help in locating individuals.

When possible, the department will update friends on road and weather conditions and other public service information. Press releases also will be posted on the page.

Shortly after the launch, a flier was posted on the page for a missing area teen believed to be in dangerous company, the sheriff said. Within 24 hours it had been viewed or shared over 12,000 times.

The page is listed as Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Missouri.

Citizens who use the Facebook app on their smart phone will receive updates as they are posted.