The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., joins forces with local law enforcement agencies to help track down the area’s most wanted fugitives.
WHAT THEY DID: The SJ-R launched a web page containing headshots and bio information of the area’s most wanted fugitives. The page also provided readers with contact information for city police and county deputies if they were to spot one of the fugitives. A corresponding story was published in print that focused on 12 of the most wanted fugitives with plans to update and publish the story once a month. The project is the joint effort of the Springfield Police Department, Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office, Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, Crimestoppers and SJ-R reporter John Reynolds.
“The most wanted package appeared in Monday’s paper,” SJ-R executive editor Bob Heisse said. “Within hours the detectives had arrested two men and were pursuing a third.
“Three detectives stopped in at midday to thank us and to ask that their names and phone number run with the package, along with the Crimestoppers’ number. They said the phones have been ringing all day.”
By midday Tuesday, five fugitives had been detained.
THE TAKEAWAY: The project is a great example of newspapers working with local agencies and organizations to drive change in a community. Always keep in mind the opportunities to present and disseminate the content on print and digital platforms.