FPD utilizes social media in suspect identification

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Like many local organizations, the Fairbanks Police Department uses its social media to interact with residents - even asking for the public's help in identifying suspects.
FPD has been utilizing its Facebook page for suspect identification for two years now after some interest from the public wanting to aid the officers in their work.
Officer Doug Welborn makes the majority of the suspect identification posts to the department's Facebook page.

"We have a high percentage of the photos that we post where we receive identification on those subjects usually same day or sometime during the next week," he said.

Within minutes of posting a photo, dozens of comments are published and the department receives a variety of phone calls.
Welborn said if residents see someone that they know, or if someone maybe in trouble, or has been committing crimes and they'd like to see them identified and held responsible, the department urges them to reach out to officers and let them know.
The use of social media not only benefits the police department but in turn attempts to help the public as well.

“A lot of these folks that we deal with that are committing say fraud, forgery, theft type crimes, they're struggling with addiction - that tends to be a common theme among many of them, not all, and there's some good in holding someone responsible and potentially getting them some treatment throughout the process as well," he said.

Welborn and the staff at FPD post Suspect Identification photos a couple of times a week.
Each post contains the photo, case number, and officer contact information.