An Arkansas Sheriff who's taken his hunt for fugitives high-tech has been chosen as a finalist in the 2010 AMW All-Star Contest, sponsored by Sprint. Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery turned to the internet as a resource to bring his hunt for criminals to the next level. In November 2007 he created a Sheriff’s Office website designed to automatically notify members of the community about Amber Alerts, unregistered sex offenders new to the neighborhood, recently-arrested criminals and prison escapees. Since its inception, the website has received over one million visitors, averaging about 75,000 per month.
Sheriff Montgomery did not stop at his website alone – he incorporated the use of Facebook and receives several leads weekly. He also created an anonymous tip line that has helped cut down on the methamphetamine laboratories in the community. To date, Sheriff Montgomery's social media savvy and passion for justice has led to the capture of over 600 criminals. The website's format has also inspired law enforcement in nearby communities to create similar online outreach plans.
Sheriff Montgomery has been honored with the 2006 Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce Presidential Award and the 2009 Morgan's Choice Award in recognition of his work to protect children and his exemplary performance in the safe recovery of an abducted toddler, Aiden Mullins.
Sheriff Montgomery is the third of eight weekly finalists to be chosen by the public in this year's AMW All-Star Contest. Any member of the public can nominate and vote for their favorite first-responder online. The nomination process is simple: Go to AMW.com to fill out a short form naming your top choice and explain what makes this person an All-Star.
Each weekly finalist will be profiled on America's Most Wanted (Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on FOX). Through online votes, the public will choose the grand-prize winner. In May, AMW Host John Walsh will present the 2010 AMW All-Star winner with a check for $10,000 at the NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series™ All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Nominations are open at AMW.com until noon (ET) on April 3, 2010. Members of the public may vote for their favorite first responder once a day, every day. Finalist voting runs through April 11th and the grand-prize winner voting will run April 15th-May 3rd. Please visit amw.com/allStar for more information.