Keeping up with the times, the Bergen County (NJ) sheriff’s office is using technology to help them find individuals who have warrants for their arrest, and to gather tips about crimes from members of the community, and even prisoners.
The National Institute of Justice published an article in the winter edition of TechBeat, the NIJ publication, which bills itself as “Dedicated to Reporting Developments in Technology for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Forensic Sciences.” The article relates how the Bergen County sheriff’s department came up with a unique initiative that allows people to share information on crime and criminals.
The system’s name, FaceCrook, may be tongue-in-cheek, but the results have been serious, and FaceCrook may be the model for other areas to use in fighting crime, and catching criminals.
FaceCrook allows concerned citizens, be they community members or prison inmates, to offer anonymous tips on the whereabouts of someone with a warrant, or to provide information on a crime that took place. It allows the sheriff’s department to have hundreds of eyes and ears throughout the county. Although some might find the system reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, the Bergen County sheriff’s department hopes that other counties will link to the FaceCrook system. Tipsters can access FaceCrook via telephone or computer. That the FaceCrook system has been successful comes as no surprise. The surprise is that no one thought of this technological system to expand crime-fighting techniques sooner.