A long-time popular feature in the Bradenton Herald every Sunday has been the “Police Blotter.” Anchored on Page 4 in the Local section, the blotter lists crimes committed during one week in Manatee County -- zone by zone. It’s a labor-intensive feature, because we gather the information from stacks of paper police reports, then input the data into our own computer system. But I know I check out my zone in the paper every Sunday morning to see if there’s any crime trend that should concern my neighborhood.
This month, in a partnership with Manatee County’s Crime Stoppers, we launched a new twist: “Manatee’s Featured Fugitives.” Every Sunday, the Herald will publish information on some of the most-sought suspects in local crimes -– their mugs, basic information and the crimes.
And, the sheriff’s office reports, the word is out and the calls are coming in. In the first four weeks, a half-dozen suspects have been caught. Last week, we noted two suspects -– Billy Thompson and Chauncey McDuffie -– who were apprehended. This Sunday, on Page 4C in the Herald, you’ll find two new suspects along with the others, sent to us by Det. Dan Hutto, Special Investigations Division of the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and Crime Stoppers coordinator.
We list the anonymous tips line and how to contact investigators with information, which can lead to rewards up to $1,000. More importantly, it provides a way for citizens to help make our streets safer.