State Police in New York are turning to Facebook and Twitter to ask members of the public for help catching wanted felons, according to the governor.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week a new program called “Warrant Wednesday” will feature special updates on the State Police Facebook page asking people to come forward if they can help track down people with warrants out for their arrest.
“New York State is using new and creative tools to help make our streets and neighborhoods safer,” said Governor Cuomo. “Social media’s broad appeal can help the State Police track down those wanted in connection with crimes and bring them to justice.”
Cuomo said, in a statement, that State Police were moved to create a formal social media outreach program after its sporadic “wanted postings” on social media led to the identification and arrest of several wanted suspects. The State Police felt that “Wanted Wednesday” was the next logical step, and it mirrors a worldwide trend.
Police have been actively using social media as an investigative tool for years, but the most recent trend has police taking the extra step and becoming “active” on social media, directly interacting with the public and asking people for help.
“The State Police has already seen the benefits of broadening our use of social media,” said State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. “We are expanding on a pilot program that we launched late last year that proved successful in the identification and arrest of several individuals. Expanding this initiative statewide will allow us to take full advantage of social media’s widespread reach to a large, diverse audience.”
“Warrant Wednesdays” will feature graphical posters of wanted suspects sent in from State Police Troops across New York. They will include photos, information, crimes they are sought for, and an appropriate contact number. Posters will remain up as a Facebook photo album on the State Police Facebook Page.