The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is launching a new program designed to let the public view surveillance photos typically seen only by investigators in crimes ranging from shoplifting to scams. The photos on the Sheriff’s Office website under the new “Take a Look, Catch a Crook” program shows people of interest, witnesses, or potential suspects connected to various crimes around Okaloosa County.
“All crimes, including misdemeanors, deserve attention and this increases the odds that suspects will be identified and charged accordingly when they have victimized an individual or business,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley.
“The best crime-solving methods involve a partnership between law enforcement and the public. This new information-sharing initiative gives the public a chance to view images that, for the most part, only law enforcement would have viewed in the past. This in turn gives us the potential for thousands of people to help identify the individuals shown,” added Captain Arnold Brown, head of the OCSO Investigation Services Division.
The web page allows residents to link in to Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers to leave their information. They can then be eligible for a cash reward if their information leads to an arrest.
With some exceptions, most crimes profiled on Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers are high-profile felonies. “Take a Look – Catch a Crook” will showcase any crime that has an image that could be used to develop leads.
“The two programs in fact complement each other,” said Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers Coordinator Nicole Wagner. “We have used citizen input successfully for many years and “Take a Look – Catch a Crook” will capitalize on the same methodology to expand the number of crimes available for the public to help solve.”
The page will be updated weekly.