This article originally appeared in Government Video.
The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency, has partnered with outdoor advertiser Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. to utilize the company’s nearly 1,000 digital billboards to help apprehend some of the country’s most dangerous fugitives.
The USMS and Clear Channel Outdoor agreement enables “hot pursuit messages” to be displayed immediately on any or all of Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboards, according to the service. The Marshals Service, and local law enforcement, will provide such emergency messages in the immediate aftermath of a crime. An alert will stay up for the first 30 minutes after it is put up, and it will be shown throughout the day, which is similar to Amber Alert efforts.
“The U.S. Marshals Service utilizes partnerships with federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies to make our communities safer,” said David Harlow, the USMS’ assistant director for investigative operations. “The relationship with Clear Channel Outdoor is sure to enhance our abilities to bring criminals to justice,” he added.
In addition to the emergency messages, Clear Channel Outdoor will post Wanted Criminal displays on a space available basis in affected markets. Each local Clear Channel Outdoor market will use the power of digital billboards to alert communities about fugitives and empower them with information to protect themselves and their families and inform police if they have information regarding these fugitives.
Implementation of that agreement has already begun with Clear Channel Outdoor posting displays about Clyde M. Hall, Jr, a fugitive who was just added to the USMS’ 15 Most Wanted Fugitive list.
Hall is a career sex offender wanted in the Northern District of New York for violation of federal supervised release, the Marshals Service says. He failed to report to a halfway house in New York after serving a 25-month prison sentence for violations of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act at the Butner Federal Correctional Institute in North Carolina. Hall’s whereabouts remain unknown and he poses a high degree of danger to the community.
“Clear Channel Outdoor is proud to partner with the U.S. Marshals Service to help track down and capture dangerous criminals throughout the country,” said William Eccleshare, Clear Channel Outdoor’s CEO. “This partnership is a perfect example of how Clear Channel Outdoor is part of each local community in which we operate, and an example of our commitment to making local communities better and safer.”
The USMS has worked successfully with Clear Channel Outdoor in the past, using its digital network in Las Vegas in 2009 to help them track a dangerous escaped predator. The new national partnership envisions digital billboards assisting the Marshals Service and local police apprehend other dangerous fugitives before they can inflict further harm, the service says.