A N.J. sheriff's "Facecrook" site has caught the attention of national media as the law officer found a creative way to apprehend criminals. Inspector Mickey Bradley designed the site to get the names of crooks out there and boost anonymous tips.
The N.J. sheriff's Facecrook site idea originally came to him about a year ago, he told The Record. It works in conjunction with the Bergen County Sheriff's Office to feature names, pictures, measurements, and crimes of wanted fugitives. The site acknowledges the role of the public in law enforcement.
"Time and time again, the history of law enforcement has demonstrated that it is the watchful eyes of the public which often clips the wings of a fugitive's flight from justice," reads Facecrook.
To that end, anonymous tips are encouraged by a detailed form. On the form are spaces for everything from the suspect's race, clothing, and pets to their vehicle plates and drugs they may have sold. Facecrook users can even enter a password so authorities can ask them more questions anonymously as a follow-up to an investigation.
However, users who go to Facecrook are discouraged from vigilantism.
"Any person who uses the information contained herein to threaten, intimidate or harass another, or who otherwise misuses that information, may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability," reads the site's disclaimer.
The warning is a necessary one, as many of those on Facecrook- especially the most wanted criminal list- are dangerous suspects. Jail escapees, sexual deviants, armed robbers, kidnappers, and attempted murderers are all crooks not yet apprehended.
Inspector Bradley's idea could be very valuable to law enforcement services- particularly if it gets popular. Though the worth of the idea is enormous, Bradley told the Record he bought the domain name for only $17.
The site is only possible because of N.J.'s Open Public Records Act, which warrants suspects' names to be public information. Every criminal offender's name is not on the site, though.