Bensalem police say social media doesn't replace 911 call in an emergency

Bensalem Township police are reminding their residents to call 911 in an emergency after they say they've received an increasing number of social media messages instead of phone calls.

The department took to social media and their own website Thursday to alert residents that social media is "not an appropriate forum to request immediate assistance."

"Reminder: Social media is not an appropriate forum to request immediate assistance from the Bensalem Township Police Department. We do not monitor our social media accounts 24/7," the advisory read.

The department added that if you are in need of police assistance, you should call 911 for emergencies of (215) 633-3719 for non-emergencies.

Fred Harran, Bensalem Township's public safety director, spoke about the issues the department has been having with social media reports on Good Day Philadelphia.

Harran says instead of calling 911, an increasing number of residents are reaching out to them on social media to report emergency calls. Harran explained that police are not monitoring social media 24 hours a day, seven days a week like some people may think, and that includes their own pages.

Bensalem Township residents do have the ability to text 911 if necessary.

According to Harran, the department has received emergency reports of domestic violence, or people throwing rocks at cars on social media instead of via phone call.