MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery Police are investigating after a social media post about an alleged dead body sparked concern among residents and used the department's "valuable time."
According to a post on SAFE Montgomery's Facebook page, on Thursday reports surfaced on social media that a dead body was seen near Bellingrath School. Officers spent time physically searching property and researching reports only to determine that the posts were not true.
Not only did this cause unnecessary panic for residents and the parents of Bellingrath students, it used the department's valuable time, the post indicated.
While the department says it appreciates the crime-fighting tool social media has become, it says it can also spread false and misleading or hurtful information.
"Without verifying there's no way of telling fact from fiction on social media, which is why MPD worked to track down the reports," the department said.
MPD says it is investigating the origins of the false information and if a crime has been committed, they will work to identify and charge the individuals responsible.
"When it comes to social media reports, it's a good idea to 'trust but verify' and as always, to report as crime or other emergency, call 911," the post stated.