--This is a great idea. All departments should put a program like this in place.--
October 07, 2014
Social media engages public and encourages them to assist law enforcement by providing locations of fugitives with outstanding warrants
Kankakee County Sheriff's Office Press Release
KANKAKEE, Ill. — The Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office recently began a new initiative called, “#WarrantWednesday” where the use of social media engages the public and encourages them to assist law enforcement by providing the locations of fugitives with outstanding warrants.
“We have been putting fugitives on our website for years,” said Kankakee County Undersheriff Michael Downey. “We started releasing information on random warrants in early August on our social media in an effort to engage those who utilize social media and are constantly attached to their smart phones and other electronic media. We had no idea it was going to grow into such a phenomenon.”
Alyssa Smith is one such fugitive found through the #WarrantWednesday posts. She taunted the sheriff's office with this Snapchat photo. (Photo provided by Kankakee County Sheriff's Office)
Since the Sheriff’s Office’s first #WarrantWednesday post in early August 2014, 15 of their 31 posted fugitives have been apprehended, bringing their success rate to an unbelievable 48%.
“In past years, we’ve seen arrest warrants remain outstanding in our system for years,” mentioned Downey. “In fact, we’ve had to purge them before due to attrition where investigating/reporting officers, as well as witnesses, have either retired, moved, passed on, etc. The fact that we’ve seen some of these subjects apprehended within thirty minutes of posting them to our social media sites is simply amazing and a credit to the public for assisting law enforcement in capturing these individuals.”
“While some members of the community have expressed concerns over some of the warrants that they consider to be “less severe”, it is important to remember that the Sheriff’s Office does not issue arrest warrants. We simply execute the warrants on behalf of the judge’s orders. We do not use our discretion in determining which ones we want to serve and which ones we want to disregard in hopes of catching the ‘bigger fish’,” Downey continued.
The Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank the community at large for their assistance in cooperation with the recently introduced program. The number of calls that have come into CrimeStoppers (an agency that pays monetary rewards to anonymous citizens for providing information to law enforcement) has increased substantially.
If you think you may have an outstanding warrant in Kankakee County, you can report directly to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office (3000 S Justice Way, Kankakee, IL) and speak with an investigator/deputy, or turn yourself in at the Jerome Combs Detention Center. Those who turn themselves in on an outstanding warrant and have the appropriate funds to post bond will be processed and released in a timely manner by our Corrections Division.
To those who fear the embarrassment from being on a future post, the Sheriff’s Office has a message….”Don’t miss your court dates and don’t break the law and you won’t have a warrant issued for your arrest. It’s that simple”