Documenting the damage on social media

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Social media. It's right at our fingertips and an easy way to share information. It can also be a crucial tool for law enforcement.

A man captures the damage in Hot Springs. (KOTA)

"The easiest way to get information out to the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time," says the captain from the Hot Springs police department, William Wainman.

When something happens, and it's caught on camera, that image could be beneficial.

"In some ways, it could be good because pictures will document things that may have been missed," says Wainman.

Social media can be seen as an excellent way for officials to get information out to the public, but there are some drawbacks.

When it comes to the recent fire in Hot Springs, many people documented the damage and posted it to social media.

"In my opinion, the public has the right to see some of those things, but it can negatively impact those who lost their businesses," says Wainman.

Hot Springs is a small town, and the community is coming together after the loss of the historic downtown district. And that includes documenting the damage, but Wainman says it's important to capture pictures from a respectful distance," says Wainman.

"Anyone driving by in the street, I think, is okay, but when you're getting up into a business and crossing the barricades, I think that does cross the line," says Wainman.

By crossing the barricades, it isn't only a safety hazard, but it could impede the investigation.

"It's a scene where they're gathering evidence, so people going through it is not a good thing and definitely could impact things," says Wainman.