11 Police Pinterest Boards that Name & Shame Perpetrators

Police use Pinterest to name and shameNational crimes get a lot of press – if it’s a heart-wrenching or unique case, chances are you’ll see more information than you want on one of the major television networks. Sometimes those criminals even end up on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list, which you’ve probably seen posted in post offices around the country. These criminals are usually added to the FBI’s list because they’re wanted in connection with a series of violent and high-profile crimes and have usually crossed state lines in the commission of these acts.

But what about the crimes and criminals in your own backyard? Where can you get information on those wanted for sticking up the local liquor store, passing bad checks or identity theft? How does law enforcement keep the public informed about them? Especially when your town isn’t big enough to warrant its own TV station and the local paper doesn’t publish mug shots.

Police departments want you to know about local crime. That’s why they’re using Pinterest.

Yes, the Pinterest of recipes, cute puppy photos and funny e-cards is helping cops catch criminals and bringing awareness to local communities. Police departments in cities large and small are creating boards featuring mug shots and surveillance videos. In fact, 67 percent of law enforcement professionals surveyed by LexisNexis thought that social media helped solve crimes more quickly.

To that end, here are 11 police departments that are making the most of Pinterest.

1. Philadelphia Police Department (Penn.)

  • Patrol population: 1,526,006
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest*: 454, including some missing persons
  • No. of boards: 6
  • Types of perpetrators: All perps are listed on Pinterest based on district – south, southwest, northwest, central, east, northeast
  • The scoop: Philly police are no strangers to social media: In 2012, they made their 100th arrest thanks to sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

2. Peoria Police Department (Ariz.)

3. D.C. Metro Police Department (Washington D.C.)

4. Kansas City Police Department (Mo.)

5. Elgin Police Department (Ill.)

  • Patrol population: 108,190
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 30
  • No. of boards: 1
  • Types of perpetrators: Nearly all are wanted for fraud and theft on the board attempt to identify
  • The scoop: Elgin police are quick to remind those viewing their Pinterest page that those in the surveillance videos are suspected of a crime and are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

6. Louisville Police Department (Ky.)

  • Patrol population: 597,336
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 29
  • No. of boards: 2
  • Types of perpetrators: All types of perps are listed on please help us identify and Louisville’s most wanted
  • The scoop: Louisville police don’t post much information about the crimes for which people are wanted, but each individual photo leads to a page with details on the crime.

7. Bryan Police Department (Texas)

  • Patrol population: 76,220
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 24
  • No. of boards: 2
  • Types of perpetrators: All types are listed on catch a criminal and persons of interest
  • The scoop: Anyone who’s arrested and hopes to stay under the radar shouldn’t live in Bryan; even after a suspect is arrested their photo stays on Pinterest with “arrested” on it.

8. Joliet Police Department (Ill.)

  • Patrol population: 147,463
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 17
  • No. of boards: 2
  • Types of perpetrators: Nearly all are wanted for murder or theft on unsolved homicides and attempt to identify
  • The scoop: Joliet police don’t list any names of their suspects; only surveillance video shots and unsolved homicides are posted. The department joined Pinterest earlier this year.

9. Leesburg Police Department (Va.)

  • Patrol population: 42,616
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 15
  • No. of boards: 2
  • Types of perpetrators: All types are listed on wanted persons and information wanted
  • The scoop: This police department posts only wanted posters, whether they’re looking for specific people or tips on certain crimes.

10. Mountain View Police Department (Calif.)

  • Patrol population: 76,621
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 7
  • No. of boards: 1
  • Types of perpetrators: Nearly all perps are wanted for theft on wanted
  • The scoop: No mug shot? No problem. Mountain View police post sketches of the criminals for whom they don’t have photos.

11. Vineland Police Department (N.J.)

  • Patrol population: 60,724
  • Number of “wanted” perps on Pinterest: 6
  • No. of boards: 1
  • Types of perpetrators: Perps are wanted for robbery and theft on request to identify
  • The scoop: Surveillance shots are posted and the pins are updated to reflect when a suspect’s been identified.

 

There’s also an honorable mention selection that didn’t quite make the list. Pottstown (Pa.) Police Department has seen a spike in arrests because of Pinterest, but the police aren’t the ones pinning – it’s coming from reporters at the local newspaper. The board, wanted by police, has 106 mug shots pinned. The pins are updated to say “in custody” when a perpetrator is apprehended.

Do you think police using Pinterest is a good idea? Tell us in the comments below and if you’re curious about other law enforcement-related uses for Pinterest check out 33 Police Pinterest Boards for Law Enforcement Officers & Future Crime Fighters.

 

*The number of people “wanted” as of Sept. 27, 2013.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer for Rasmussen College. She researches and writes student-focused articles that focus on nursing, health sciences, business and justice studies. She enjoys writing engaging content to help future, current, and former students on their path to a rewarding education.

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