When Lake Forest Park Police Detective Tony Matthews created the Website CanYouId.me in 2010 to enable Washington Law Enforcement to seek tips directly from the public, he might not have predicted the popularity or success of the site.
To date, 57 of the hundreds of suspects appearing on the site have been apprehended, and 167 officers from nearly 50 Washington Law Enforcement agencies utilize the site, which also works closely with Washington's Most Wanted. Edmonds Police are among those who take advantage of the free online resource.
Now, the department has added the ultimate social tool to its arsenal to help officers reach even more citizens with photos of suspected thieves, robbers, and vehicles suspected in hit-and-run accidents--Facebook.
Now to get the scoop on wanted criminal suspects from Marysville to Arlington, instead having to go to the site every time you want to see what's new, you can "Like" CanYouId.me on Facebook.
Matthews unveiled the new Facebook page to the Lake Forest Park City Council last Thursday evening, and started populating it with content on Monday.
The site itself is pretty self-supporting, Matthews said. Law enforcement officers post their own photos on open cases--often security camera footage--and remove the photos if a suspect is identified for questioning. Sometimes a photo of a potential witness to a crime is posted as well to help police locate them. LFP Police covers the minimal web hosting costs.
Matthews said that there's been some interest in a property identification site, which could come in the future as resources allow, though there's no current plan by LFP to develop such a site. He said law enforcement often has a really difficult time finding the owners of recovered property.
Have you ever been able to help law enforcement out with an identification? Tell us in the comments.