FBI, This Week: Digital Billboard Initiative Marks 10th Year


November 24, 2017

An investigative tool the FBI uses to track down fugitives and missing children marks its 10th year.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: An investigative tool the FBI uses to track down fugitives and missing children marks its 10th year.

The FBI’s Digital Billboard Initiative began in Philadelphia.

Christopher Allen, the chief of the Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit, explains…

Christopher Allen: A graduate of the Citizens Academy offered us space on digital billboards to publicize fugitive cases. As a result of those boards, two fugitives were captured right off the bat.

Halpern: The program then went national.

Allen: Outdoor advertising companies want to be good neighbors, they want to be good citizens, so they’re offering us space on their billboards at no cost to the public on a space-available basis.

Halpern: The FBI now has access to more than 6,700 billboards in 46 states.

Allen: Over the past 10 years, 57 fugitives have been apprehended as a direct result of billboard publicity.

Halpern: Recently, billboards were used to solicit information from the public about the shooter in the Las Vegas mass shooting—it brought in about 4,000 tips.

Allen: The FBI knows we can’t do this alone—we need the support of the public. If you see a wanted poster for a fugitive on the news or online or on a billboard—or if you hear about it on the radio—give us a call.

Halpern: With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.

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