HARTINGTON — Social media is helping local law enforcement find, and bring in suspects.
A man with a Cedar County warrant is now behind bars after a Wanted Poster was added to the Sheriff’s Facebook page April 4.
Shortly after the information was posted, calls started coming into the Sheriff’s Office giving a location and other information on the wherabouts of Jason Fahrenholz, Laurel, who was wanted for questioning in a child abuse and strangulation case.
Within 12 hours, Fahrenholz was arrested.
The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office was notified during the early morning hours of April 5 that Fahrenholz had turned himself in at the Dixon County Sheriff’s Office.
The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page was created a year ago, in April 2016, by Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Claussen and Administrative Assistant Michelle Loecker. The site is updated as needed. As of early this week, the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office Facebook site had 1,448 followers.
A list of active warrants from Cedar County which includes names, dates-of-birth and towns, along with the charges, can be viewed.
“The last warrant list that was put on the site reached 5,000 people,” Claussen said.
Occasionally a Wanted Poster with name and charges, along with a photo of the subject, will be put on the site.
The most recent Wanted Poster reached over 34,000 people as 512 viewers shared the poster.
“It has been a great tool for us. We get phone calls and messages on Facebook telling us where they have seen the individuals or where we can find the person,” Claussen said. “The information we receive will remain anonymous.”
When the subject has been arrested, the word “Apprehended” is pasted across the Wanted Poster on the site.
“We just want to keep the public informed and make them aware of what is actually happening,” Claussen said.
Sometimes the Sheriff’s Office has shared information from other law enforcement departments and has occasionally included warnings on road conditions on the site.
During the winter months, messages from the Nebraska Department of Roads stating area roads were ice covered were sometimes put on the page, along with a link to the Nebraska Department of Roads.
Local training exercises and events, along with photos, can also be found at the site.
“We want to let people know all of the things the Sheriff’s Office is involved with besides writing tickets,” Claussen said.
A poster the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office received from the kindergarten class at the Wynot School in November 2016 meant a lot to the officers and employees. A photo of the poster made by the Wynot students was posted on Facebook, along with a huge “thank you.”
For National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in January of this year, the Junior Girl Scouts in Laurel showed their appreciation by presenting local law enforcement with a meal, gifts, songs and skits. Photos of this were also posted on the Sheriff’s page.
“With all of the negativity toward law enforcement, it means a lot to get a few kinds words,” Claussen said.
Fahrenholz’s bond was set at 10 percent of $250,000 and was still listed at that amount on April 6.
Fahrenholz’s next court day is set for April 26 in County Court.
A complaint on Fahrenholz filed on Jan. 13, 2017 included assault in 3rd degree, obstructing a peace officer and disturbing the peace. At one point Fahrenholz would only comply with instructions issued by a law enforcement officer when he realized the red light of a tazer was focused on his torso.
The most recent arrest took place after a Wanted Poster with a photo of Fahrenholz was posted on the Cedar County Sheriff’s Facebook page.
Facebook played a big role in this case. Calls providing information on Fahrenholz started coming into the Sheriff’s Office from people who had viewed the post.
Fahrenholz may have also viewed the site on Facebook.
It appears, Fahrenholz posted a message on the Facebook page stating “Yeah, funny how restraining a 16 year old from swinging on you on the couch turns into those trumped warrants. That’s the judicial system.”
More on this story is published in this week’s Cedar County News print and E Editions. To get a print edition, please stop at Caseys or Stop N Go in Hartington.