Criminals beware, cops do talk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Law enforcement officers have been living in a Facebook world longer than you have, and local officers hope a recent arrest will remind a few criminals of that fact.

It’s easy, these days, to be connected with friends, family and classmates you don’t regularly see. You can follow their status updates, view their photos and send them a message at the drop of a hat.

The National Crime Information Center — a database of criminals and their faces — links law enforcement across the country just like Facebook links you.

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A good phone line and an unwritten rule of camaraderie do the trick for criminal investigators as well.

With help from officials in New Orleans, the Louisiana State Police and the FBI, Natchez Police made an arrest last week in connection to a February shooting at a local nightclub.

It’s likely the suspects — both from Natchez — fled to town to evade the police.

“(Suspects) don’t realize we have a good working relationship with other agencies,” said NPD Lt. Craig Godbold. “Other agencies hunt people down on our warrants and hold them in custody until we pick them up. They count on getting away from Natchez because it’s a small town, and they run after committing a crime here to cities like Jackson, Dallas and New Orleans.”

Perhaps questioning the smarts of criminals is a silly notion, but we hope the realization that law enforcement is just as connected as the rest of the world might be enough knowledge to scare a few criminals from committing a crime in the first place.

If not, at least we know the chances are good they’ll be caught.