FBI's 'Most Wanted' turns 60; this town wants its own list

The FBI celebrates a unique policy anniversary. Other police departments are considering the same approach.
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor

The FBI celebrates a unique policy anniversary today - the FBI Most Wanted (Fugitives) List created 60 years ago. There have been more than few high profile criminals caught through the publication format.

In a FBI press release, Director Mueller stated a few highlights;

In 1949, a reporter for the International News Service (the predecessor to United Press International) approached the FBI and asked about writing a story about the "toughest guys" being sought by the FBI at the time. The Bureau provided the names and descriptions of 10 fugitives to the reporter. The resulting feature became a major story and gained national attention. As a consequence of overwhelming public interest, on March 14, 1950, then-Director J. Edgar Hoover inaugurated the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program.

Since then, the FBI, through the "Top Ten" list, has been asking for help from the public to locate America's most dangerous fugitives. The response has been impressive. Since 1950, 494 fugitives have appeared on the list; 463 have been apprehended or located, with 152 of those fugitives located as a direct result of citizen cooperation.

Other police departments are considering the same approach as the FBI in publicizing a Most Wanted list and / or Top 10 list. Police in Abbotsford, B.C think it will help find some of the "Top 10 Gangsters"

In a Vancouver Sun article Abbotsford Police spokesperson Ian MacDonald said;

"the formation of the list is partly a deterrent, and meant to send a clear message to criminals.'"

"We will be arresting those people on the top 10 list."

The list will also feature gang members not living in Abbotsford, but who do most of their work here, and any information the APD has will be shared with other police departments across the Lower Mainland, said MacDonald.

With new technology and applications, can the FBI adapt the Most wanted list using new techniques? Imagine 3D data sets along with lists identifying items and a set of files available for download, and reports of where the person is believed to be.

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