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Warrant Wednesday' yields first arrest

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - Updated: 8:14 PM

By CAROLINE MURRAY

For the C-S-E

State troopers launched "Warrant Wednesday" on the division's Facebook page to seek the public's help with tracking down people who have warrants out for their arrest.

The initiative began Feb. 5.

"Within the three weeks it has been instituted here it has resulted in the arrest and location of one," said state police Spokesman Mark Cepiel.

Each Wednesday, wanted posters are added to the division's Facebook page featuring people with arrest or bench warrants from across the state.

Cepiel said a spokesman from each troop has access to the page, and actively update the site with information pertaining to their area.

He said the effort is the result of a pilot program launched last year among some troops. They had success with it and the decision was made to expand it statewide.

"It is another tool to assist us with these warrants and any other crime and general," said Cepiel.

On the site, Facebook friends can view photographs, information about the subject, what they are wanted for and a contact number for the appropriate station.

It appears as a photo album on the page, and features a #WarrantWednesday hashtag on Twitter.

Cepiel said he posted a photo on Facebook that resulted in the location and arrest of the individual the same day.

Facebook friends helped Princetown state police track down Joseph M. Cassillo, who reportedly failed to appear in Schenectady Court on a third-degree grand larceny charge.

Troopers encourage Facebook users to look at and share the postings each week. Police said it is important for anyone with information of the whereabouts of a person not to take any action themselves, and to contact them instead.

Troopers ask that people not to post tips directly on the Facebook page, but instead use the phone numbers included on each poster.

The page has more than 35,000 "likes."

Cepiel said the number of followers have increased since the Warrant Wednesday plan started.

"New York State is using new and creative tools to help make our streets and neighborhoods safer," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

     

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