It was just another day for the Oklahoma County warrant sweep team, but Wednesday it was all over Twitter.
Law officers knocked on doors, made arrests and pictures were posted on Twitter. Followers swept up every tweet.
“I bet @okcountysheriff could find #Jimmy Hoffa before the #FBI,” follower Shelley Leveridge, @shelleybOKC, tweeted.
Follower Jenn Scott, @TheJennScott, tweeted, “Okay, @OkCountySheriff you win the internet today.”
The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office warrant sweep team sets out to try to serve about 12 outstanding warrants in daily roundups. On Wednesday, public information officer Mark Myers went with the team to tweet about it.
“Just knocked. Let's see what happens,” Myers tweeted as deputies searched for a man wanted on an assault and battery warrant.
The sheriff's office has about 15,000 Twitter followers, the most Twitter followers of any sheriff's office in the country, Myers said.
“With Twitter it's a good community tool,” Myers said. “We've used Twitter on DUI checkpoints, in tornadoes, wildfires and any emergencies.”
The first time the Oklahoma County sheriff's office decided to live-tweet was during a DUI checkpoint.
“We had such an incredible response from the public. People were interested in what checkpoints were,” he said. “We felt it gave us a chance to show what a checkpoint is and how they work.”
After the DUI checkpoint live-tweeting, Myers asked the Oklahoma County sheriff's office's Twitter followers what they would like to see live-tweeted next, offering up following the warrants team for a day as a suggestion.
“I tossed out the idea of possibly doing it with our warrant team, which is basically the modern-day sheriff's posse, goes around and rounds up fugitives,” Myers said. “A lot of people responded, ‘Oh man, yeah, I would love how to see how it works.'”
By mid-morning the warrant team had served several warrants, one for an assault and battery offender and another for a suspect in a concealing stolen property case. Usually the team makes four to 10 arrests a day. The team didn't locate everyone they wanted.
“Target not at location. On to the next one,” Myers tweeted on the sheriff's Twitter account.
Myers said he and the warrant team were very detailed and planned what specific information they would put up during live-tweeting in order to not tip off suspects.
Twitter follower Victoria Hubbard, @hubahubahubbard, wrote, “I've got to give it to them, they scare me to death when I see one (even if I'm not speeding) but @OkCountySheriff has killer social media.”
Twitter allows the sheriff's department two-way conversations with the public about what they do, Myers said.
“We answer to the public and this is about transparency,” Myers said.
“So, @OkCountySheriff is live tweeting their warrant searches. I like it. Might have the best police social media in the country,” another follower tweeted.
On Wednesday, the warrants team arrested three people as of 3 p.m., but they were still out working when he concluded the live-tweeting, Myers said.
“@OkCountySheriff It was fun following! Great idea!” the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office in Wisconsin tweeted after Myers concluded live-tweeting.
There are more than 60,000 active warrants in Oklahoma County. After contacting an attorney or bail bondsman, people with certain active warrants may participate in the sheriff's office's surrender program, Myers said. The process is about 30 minutes compared to being booked into jail by the warrants team.
To learn more about the surrender program, go to www.oklahomacounty.org/sheriff/surrender.
Contributing: Staff Writer LeighAnne Manwarren