Viral mugshot brings worldwide attention to innovative crime fighting

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — In just two days, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has received more than 30 million Facebook views on a routine weekly posting. 

More than 250,000 people have shared and commented on the original post. 

“We’ve actually increased almost 20,000 followers,” Sheriff David Morgan said. 

Sheriff Morgan hopes the viral post will help them solve more crimes moving forward. 

“That increases our reach so we expect to get more tips and hopefully more captures as a result of this one particular post,” Morgan said. 

Charles McDowell was chosen in August on Wheel of Fugitives which is a weekly random pick and people can call in tips to help find them. After McDowell’s recent arrest, the negative comments started about his appearance and it went viral. Sheriff Morgan says he doesn’t condone the comments. 

“It almost is a sad commentary on society isn’t it?” Sheriff Morgan said. “It’s just a mirror on who we are so those sorts of comments are coming from people who unfortunately we live with today.”

McDowell has been arrested more than a dozen times for drug possession, battery and burglary. He is still in jail and the sheriff is just glad he is off the streets yet again. 

The sheriff’s office spins the Wheel of Fugitives every Wednesday. 

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