Dissecting Summerdale PD’s “Wanted Wednesday” posts

Baldwin County

SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WKRG) — Nowadays, essentially all law enforcement agencies use social media. Some try to capitalize on the platform, some only use it for emergencies.

Regardless, in an age where people are constantly scrolling through feeds, it can take something a little different to get noticed. That was Summerdale PD’s hope with its “Wanted Wednesday” initiative. It’s a weekly post that features someone with a warrant out for them, and uses humor, emojis, hashtags, and a makeshift wanted poster.

“We gained a ton of popularity and now we use it of course for the humor side but also for getting people we have not been able to get in contact with as far as outstanding warrants,” said Officer Kris Baldner, who manages the department’s Facebook. He says the Wanted Wednesday posts also led to more popularity for other important information the department sent out through Facebook.

But some people were taken aback by the language used.

“It’s unprofessional, I think. I think it makes a mockery of someone being wanted for a crime,” said William Raney.

Others found it fun and useful, like Tiffany Hart.

“It’s interesting, really smart actually,” she said. “At least they can make a joke about it.”

Police say they know there’s a line, and they put checks in place so they don’t cross them.

“Try to just focus on the crime they committed, and then we try to keep the comments clean as well because the public will eat you up,” said Baldner.

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