A New Jersey sheriff recently launched a website called “Facecrook.” Inspector Mickey Bradley designed the website in order to get the names of crooks publicly known and to boost anonymous tips.
The idea for Facecrook originally came to Inspector Bradley nearly a year ago.
It works in conjunction with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and features names, pictures, measurements, and alleged crimes of wanted fugitives.
The site acknowledges the role of the public in law enforcement. One part of the site reads, “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.”
Facecrook encourages anonymous tips and supplies a detailed form that can be filled out providing information that might help lead to the whereabouts of a fleeing suspect.
The form has spaces for the suspect’s race, type of clothing, pets, the license plate of a vehicle he was driving, and drugs he may have sold.
Facecrook even allows for users to log-on and enter a password in order for the authorities to ask them further questions anonymously as a follow-up to an investigation.
Some are wondering how it is that a site like this, divulging all of this personal information about criminal suspects can be allowed to operate.
Under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (OPRA), a suspects’ name as well as the other kinds of information the website contains are deemed public information. Thus, if it is public information, it can be posted for the public to see.
However, users of Facecrook are highly discouraged from engaging in vigilantism.
The site even has a disclaimer stating, “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.”
Many believe that the warning is necessary because the individuals on the site have not been apprehended yet and some may try to use the information to take the law into their own hands.
After all, the list includes convicts who escaped from prison, sexual deviants, armed robbers, kidnappers, and attempted murderers who all have yet to be apprehended.
Inspector Bradley’s idea could prove extremely valuable to law enforcement throughout the nation, especially if it takes off.
If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Doing so just might keep you out of prison.