Bryant Police use #CELLfies to publicly humiliate criminals
By Matt Mershon
BRYANT (KATV) - Basically anything goes, from shoplifting to violent crime, when it comes to the Bryant Police Department's "#CELLFIES". If you do the crime, be ready to do the time and be publicly humiliated. It's a play on words, but in fact they're actually mugshots of those already arrested and booked through the Bryant Police Department. "I want them to know if they come to Bryant and they commit a crime that they're going to be exposed," said Chief Mark Kizer, originator of the selfie/cellfie concept. The concept of exposing those sitting in jail isn't anything new. There are countless websites dedicated to publishing mugshots, but now Bryant is posting them on Facebook and Twitter. Those social media sites have much higher user rates than the websites created purely for displaying pictures of convicts. "There's several posts that we have on there that will hit 50,000 in a day, where we have 50,000 viewers," commented Kizer. As much as the police department believes the concept of the "cellfie" will deter crime, the department predominantly uses social media to blast pictures of suspects that still haven't been caught. "We've solved numerous burglaries, we've solved numerous thefts, we've solved several robberies off of it," said Kizer, referring to the department's Facebook page with nearly 10,000 likes. Kizer mentions it's a way of catching up with the times. "I mean they're already on Facebook, they see this picture, they know this person. I think at that point they're kind of feeling obligated to say, 'Hey, look, I know this person, I know where this person is,'" said Kizer. "When you get the community that involved and they actually feel like they're a part of the police department - it's a big deal." Several other police departments across the state utilize social media and Kizer urges those that don't to do so, citing how helpful it is when it comes to solving crimes.
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