(Updates at the bottom.)
For decades when local police wanted to keep the community updated and reach out to the community for tips that meant turning to an informal communication network or using traditional media — but the Beaufort Police Department has been using Facebook's social networking to great effect.
The Island Packet has a short profile on the local effort and the story of how an informal effort has proven effective; take a read here.
And, of course, you can follow the department's Facebook page here.
Update February 21: In an apparent move that reflects the success of the department's Facebook page thus far, the Beaufort Police Department has opened their "wall" to question's and answers.
On Tuesday the department wrote, "The wall is open to comments and content on a trial basis. Ask questions and interact. If the spam and content gets out of hand we'll have to shut it down again, but we'll see how it goes."
It's a move that continues the informal but informative presence of Beaufort police on social media.