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Police departments starting to use Pinterest

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From the Dover PD’s Pinterest page

Pinterest is a social media site known for “pinning” fresh ideas on creative recipes and quick workout plans.

Now, police departments are taking advantage of the social media site in their own way.

The Dover Police Department in Dover, Delaware started a “lost and found” Pinterest page Monday. Currently, there are 33 pictures posted on the page.

According to Dover Police Department’s public information officer, Corporal Mark Hoffman, the lost and found was created because it can be difficult to track people down who have lost things in the area and many different places.

Claimants in Dover leave things at concerts, festivals or they move away. The Pinterest page already has 333 followers and is available to the public.

Hoffman said the account has already had a few success stories.

“One user followed our Facebook account. She went to our Pinterest page from our post, and spotted something her friend had lost. She then went back to the Facebook page and tagged her friend in a comment on the post saying ‘Hey, I think they found your bag!’” Hoffman told CNN Money.

There are a few requirements when picking up lost items at the police department. Claimants must produce a government-issued ID, proof of residency or proof of purchase of item (including serial number or receipt). When picking up electronics, claimants may have to log in to the device in front of a witness to reclaim the item.

According to Delaware Online, the police have taken precautions when posting. In order to maintain the privacy of people who have lost items, all personal information on IDs are blurred out when a lost wallet is posted.

Though it took half an hour to take photos and up to 30 minutes to edit, Dean Anderson, the evidence technician of the department, said it is not a lot of work for him.

“It seems like a lot of work but, to me, it’s not. It’s worth the effort to reunite people with their personal items.” Anderson said. “You have personal IDs, kids’ photographs, and you might find it personal and would like to have that stuff back.”

The Pinterest page has been successful thus far. Anderson said that in the two days since the page was started, two items have been returned to owners.

If items are not claimed after a year, they are destroyed.

With so many different social media sites, Hoffman said that they chose Pinterest because of the clean layout and easy delete feature when items are claimed.

Other police departments are using Pinterest as well. Police departments in Mountain View, Ca., Dallas, Tx. and State College, Pa. also utilize Pinterest as a lost and found page.

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