News & Events

News & Events

Digital Billboards to Catch Criminals

By Jennifer K. Woldt | Gannett Wisconsin Media

Local law enforcement officials are hoping a new tool along U.S. 41 will help police find people who have outstanding warrants.

Through a partnership with Lamar Advertising and law enforcement in Winnebago County, three digital billboards in Winnebago County are displaying information about people who have outstanding warrants in the county. The partnership began after discussions with the billboard advertising agency and Winnebago County Wide Crime Stoppers.

The three digital billboards, which are located along 41 between Oshkosh and Neenah and began appearing last week, will include displays for six individuals that will rotate among the other ads that are shown on the billboards.

Billboards along U.S. 41 displays a photo and information about a man wanted on a warrant in Winnebago County. Video courtesy of NBC26 Green Bay, WI.

“We have hundreds upon hundreds of warrants that are open at anytime and they’re always changing,” Winnebago Sheriff’s Lt. Lara Vendola-Messer said. “We’re hoping to reach a greater span of people.”

While there are many people who have outstanding warrants through Winnebago County, Vendola-Messer said those who are featured will be people from the area who have recent warrants. The sheriff’s office, which maintains the list of active warrants for the county, provides the information and photos to Lamar Advertising. Vendola-Messer said the agency will contact Lamar Advertising if a wanted person is found, and the billboard will note the resolution until information about a new individual can be provided.

“The goal is to satisfy the warrant,” Vendola-Messer said. “People owe lots of money or jail time for sentences that they are supposed to be serving.”

Lamar Advertising donated the space on the billboards and has entered into similar partnerships with other law enforcement agencies in the state that have been successful, Vendola-Messer said.

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