Police departments have entered the age of social media. Many departments now have Facebook and Twitter presences in their effort to best reach members of their communities. Sometimes, that means posting photos of criminals to ask for the public’s help finding them.
A Washington state police department recently posted a photo of a man wanted for a probation violation. The post was part of their “Wanted Wednesday” feature, where they ask for the public’s help trying to find wanted criminals.
Anthony Akers, 38, saw the post about himself on the Richland Police Department Facebook page and decided to respond. He commented on the photo, saying he would turn himself in. Things didn’t go quite so smoothly, but Anthony stayed in touch via Facebook every step of the way. As the exchange between Anthony and Richland police officers continued, the post went viral. Anthony did eventually surrender to police, but not before gaining a number of fans for his way of handling the situation.
Anthony Akers was wanted by the Richland Police Department in Washington for a probation violation.
Richland Police posted this photo of Anthony as part of its “Wanted Wednesday” series.
Anthony responded to the post from his own Facebook account with a snide remark informing officers he’d be turning himself in.
When Anthony didn’t follow through, police officers decided to reach out to him via his chosen medium to get an update.
Anthony explained that he had to take care of a few things before he was taken into custody for a month, which is the typical punishment for a probation violation of this nature.
When one of the many people following the hilarious post reached out for an update, they learned that Anthony had not yet turned himself in.
Anthony responded once again, the way you would attempt to smooth over someone you stood up. He even threw in an “it’s not you, it’s me.”
Richland Police decided to try again. The department posted Anthony’s photo, this time as a “Morose Monday,” to try to get Anthony to turn himself in.
Some of the people following the post couldn’t resist chiming in with jokes of their own.
Anthony finally followed through, turning himself in. He even posted a selfie at the police department when he arrived!
Anthony now has plenty of fans on the outside who are rooting for him.
There were even some willing to help him have a comfortable time while locked up, offering to contribute to his commissary account.
While some people don’t think this is the way wanted fugitives or police departments should be conducting themselves, many disagree.
They believe that the sense of humor used here allows for friendlier police relations within the community.