Facebook-Fueled Success Nets 1000th Fugitive for Sheriff's Office

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Media contact:
Nicole Dailey Jones: (216) 263-4602, (216)338-0863 or ndjones@cuyahogacounty.us
John Kohlstrand: (216) 698-2099 or jkohlstrand@cuyahogacounty.us

CLEVELAND —More than 1,000 fugitives featured on the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page have been taken into custody since the page launched in January, 2010.

Tips, sharing of posts and a very active online community of fans have fueled the success of the page, which averages more than 50,000 views per day and allows law enforcement to share information with the community in new ways.

“The sheriff’s Facebook page listing wanted felons has been a resounding success,” Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald said. “As more people are connecting with each other using social media such as Facebook, law enforcement can use sites like these as additional tools to gather and disseminate information faster than before.”

Sheriff Bob Reid said the page has made it easier for Cuyahoga County residents to share information about felons who are wanted by police. The page has exceeded expectations. An average of two Facebook-featured fugitives per day are taken into custody; fugitives are taken into custody through active investigation and tips from social media and other sources.

“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,” Reid said. “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 taking control of their neighborhoods and their own safety.”

The Sheriff’s Office has added a missing persons and non-compliant sex offenders section to the Facebook page and a Twitter account to instantly notify followers and receive accept timely tips about those who are missing or running from the law.

“Those who are missing and those who are fugitives cross county lines. This Facebook page does, too,” Sheriff Reid said.

He added: “We are only scratching the surface of what social media can mean for law enforcement. This is an innovative tool, and we are embracing it as another way to partner with residents.”

The Sheriff’s Office Facebook page is www.facebook.com/Cuyahoga County Sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office Twitter page is at www.twitter.com/cuyahogasheriff.