While some law enforcement agencies remain blissfully and ignorantly anachronistic, plenty of others have jumped into social media and the digital world to help spread the word about wanted criminals. (There was probably an opportunity for a "social media spurs for digital cowboy boots" joke there, but whatever. We could have just as easily made a Duck Hunt gun reference, too.)
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department launched a tepid step onto Facebook "less than 500 days ago." What we imagine started as an opportunity to recruit staffers to Farmville actually turned out to be useful, with the mugshots of wanted fugitives featuring prominently.
That same Facebook page posted today, announcing that to date, just over 700 fugitives have been taken into custody thanks to tips stemming from the Sheriff's social media efforts.
Sheriff Bob Reid's comments:
“Many in our community want to get involved, want to take an active role in making our streets safer, but they don’t always know how to do so. Because of the ease in sharing pictures and timely information from a single post and the anonymous ability to send a tip, the page offers many different options for the community to be proactive in that desire, to take control of their neighborhoods and their own safety. Those missing and those who are fugitives cross county lines, the page does too.
The response has far exceeded expectations and allows the community to take an active role in making the streets safer for those who live, work and do business in Cuyahoga County.”
One note: if you could untag that one photo of the Sheriff's Department drunk, naked, and covered in magic-marker drawings of penises, that'd be great too.