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Social media encompasses just about every aspect of modern life. A new website launched by the Bergen County Sheriff's Office is no exception. The site is called 'Facecrooks' and was created to alert members of the general public of individuals in the area who have been charged with crimes ranging from sex crimes to homicide. It is also being used to track down fugitives, allowing people to report sightings to authorities using social media.

The first page of the site provides a disclaimer reading, "Any person who uses the information contained herein to threaten, intimidate or harass another, or who otherwise misuses that information, may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability." The site allows users to search for fugitives by name, street address, town and ZIP code, shows a fugitive's photo, and provides their last known address. For residents who have seen a fugitive, anonymous text messages can be sent to the Sheriff's Office using a tip line.

According to the Bergen County Sheriff, "Facecrook gives the public the opportunity to get into the game in a safe manner. These fugitives live in our communities. It gives the public information on what these fugitives look like and data on where they might be living or working."

The inspector, who bought the web address for $17 and started Facecrook, said it's the first site of this kind in New Jersey. At the end of the month he will present the new application to the Law Enforcement Technical Institute in Maryland. In an age where friends are easily made via social media, it's just as important to know who you might want to avoid being friends with.

Source: newjerseynewsroom.com, "N.J. site 'Facecrooks' uses social media to nab fugitives," Bob Holt, June 20, 2012

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