DPD thanks citizens

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 11, 2006

Although the word “wanted” may bring to mind an old Western movie with John Doe the bandit on a black and white poster in the local post office, the Demopolis Police Department has found a new twist on an old idea.

It’s almost been a year since DPD Detective Sgt. Tim Soronen began using any means he could to get information on runaway criminals out to the public. However, his works have not been in vain.

“We just started producing these posters within the last year and I routinely give them to all local media,” Soronen said. “I just asked the chief if we could do this to get criminal’s faces in the public. If they see themselves in the paper, they usually don’t want their families to know so they would turn themselves in.”

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But if they don’t come in on their own will, the public has done their civic duty to keep criminals off the streets.

“This has been a valuable tool when it comes to getting the word out to the public and the community has been great working with us,” DPD chief Jeff Manuel said. “We really wan to thank the public for giving us the information which leads to the capture of suspects.”

“Some people call asking about rewards, but it shouldn’t be about that. We are trying to get people to be more civic minded,” Soronen said. “But sometimes there is a reward, it depends on the situation.”

Since the poster program began only one suspect has not been located after being put in the public eye. According to Soronen, criminals have been spotted in Mississippi and details have been called in from Tuscaloosa.

“Both the posters and the community do us a great service,” Soronen said, “and we will absolutely continue to look for those hard-to-find individuals who commit unsolved crimes.”

To give an anonymous tip to DPD call the tip line at 289-1475.

“No one will ever know who gives us the information,” Soronen said. “People who get involved are helping us and we will keep their confidentiality.”