If you commit a crime, there’s a good chance it will go on the public record. However, Brimfield Township police chief David Oliver has taken the public shaming of criminals to a whole other level, posting on his police department’s wildly popular Facebook page with rants, jokes and opinions about local criminals, who he has dubbed “mopes.”
Located near Kent, Ohio, the Brimfield Police Department serves only 10,300 local residents. However, the department’s Facebook page has over 51,000 likes, making it one of the most popular law enforcement pages in the country, largely due to Oliver’s over-the-top call-outs of criminals. “If you use a handicapped space and you jump out of the vehicle, all healthy-like, as if someone is dangling free cheeseburgers on a stick, expect people to stare at you and get angry,” he wrote in one post last year. “You are milking the system and it aggravates those of us who play by the rules. Ignoring us does not make you invisible. We see you, loser.”
Oliver has faced some criticism for discussing criminals in such a public way, though he defends himself by pointing out that crimes are a matter of public record. Though his message is often humorous, Oliver wants to convey a serious point, too: crime will not be tolerated in his community. Do you think Facebook is the right venue to air grievances with criminals? Do you think he should have more respect for the privacy of criminals, or is he within his bounds to post about them?