GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Green Bay Police are increasingly turning to Facebook to catch criminals.
They have seen a boom in likes on their page, in fact they hit a milestone of 3,000 today.
Each like means one more person who may recognize a suspect.
"Here's an example of a surveillance photo from a camera in a store" says Capt. Bill Bongle as he shows off the department's Facebook page.
"Social media is a very good way to engage the public" Capt. Bongle explains. "It reaches so many people across all age groups".
Currently on the page there is an alert about a rash of vehicle break ins, video of a shooting suspect and alleged shoplifters.
"It is a really rapid way for us to push information out to the public" Capt. Bongle says.
Just last week surveillance pictures of a man using a stolen credit card lead to an unusual arrest.
"His picture was posted and within half an hour he was in the lobby turning himself in. I think his feeling was I do not care what you do to me, just get my picture off of Facebook" says Capt. Bongle.
Community members share the photos and then share information with police. There is even an option to remain anonymous.
But it is not all bad news.
People love a good Samaritan story, like a missing wallet turned in with cash and credit cards intact.
"That little story got over 100 likes and followers in just a very short period of time" says Capt. Bongle with a smile.
You'll also find updates about upcoming community events like the department's annual bike sale.
In addition to the Facebook page people can download a Green Bay Police app.
It connects you to important phone numbers, and a feature to report tips.
"Let's say you saw some graffiti in the neighborhood, and you want to alert us to it. You can take a picture with your Smartphone, then send it off to us" he says.
Captain Bongle cautions neither of these high tech tools are a substitute for actually calling the police and filing a report.