MCSO 'Techno Cops' volunteer to catch fugitives

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by Steve Ryan

azfamily.com

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 22 at 3:00 PM

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. -- A small but elite unit of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year while taking hundreds of criminals off the streets.

The "Techno Cops" use a mix of cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned police work to locate wanted criminals who don't want to be found.

"We use social media passively and actively," said Deputy Sheriff Sean Saunders, who helms the team.

The Techno Cops watch Facebook, Twitter and mobile messaging services for information that could lead to the whereabouts of wanted criminals.

The Techno Cops clear more warrants than standard law enforcement and many don't get paid for the work, which is a big savings for Arizona taxpayers.

When asked what they would like to tell people who don't think volunteers enforce the law, Saunders said, "Well, get a warrant and find out."

The squad relies largely on tips to catch fugitives. A link to their unit is available on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office website.

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