'Wanted Wednesdays' tapping social media to help Floyd County policing
FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) -- More than 960 million people log onto Facebook daily. Now, The Floyd County Sheriff's Department is using the social media site's viewing power to locate its most wanted criminals.
Four names, four mugshots, one online poster -- It's called Wanted Wednesday.
The Floyd County Sheriff's Department says social media is a tool they simply cannot ignore.
"People will say well I know that person and you can find them here, they work here, or they live here," said Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop. "Or most of the people are telling us they live out of state or they're in jail somewhere."
The weekly campaign was launched almost a month ago on the department's Facebook Page.
In the last three weeks, about 27,000 people have viewed the criminals' photos and the posts -- sharing them numerous times. This week the department made it a Double Wanted Wednesday, asking for the public's help in finding 8 criminals.
"We're increasing our profile as well because the response has been so good," Loop said.
The crimes range in severity. Some are wanted for probation violations or not appearing in court, others are wanted for auto theft, burglary, or domestic battery. On average, the Department has 3,000 warrants at all times.
"Some of the people that were profiled on Wanted Wednesday saw themself on there and decided it would be in their best interest to just turn themself in," said Loop.
Officials say the Floyd County Community and surrounding counties are always helpful in identifying subjects. In today's world of technology, Sheriff Loop say many people are constantly glued to their phones, so they are taking advantage of the online audience. Their policing is changing along with the times and Loop says it's working.
"Out of the 12 that we've profiled, we've gotten all but two. So we've got 10 of 12," he said.
The sheriff tells us many of the department's tips come from Facebook messages.
Officials warn if you see any of the people in the posters, do not try to approach them. Just call police.
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