Silent Witness Program Now Making Videos For YouTube

By Ray Stern

Citizens from Arizona and other states have used YouTube to help catch criminals. Now, officials with the Valleywide Silent Witness program are hoping the popularity of Google’s video-sharing Web site will pay off in leads for unsolved crimes.

The non-profit organization headed up by Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone posted its first videos last week, including the one at the top of this article about the fatal October 7 shooting of Phoenix 16-year-old Melissa Vigil.

Police are increasingly turning to YouTube to broadcast surveillance tapes or other videos related to crimes, though the benefits aren’t certain, according to an article in last year’s Washington Post. The videos may not be as entertaining as the Battle at Kruger, but reaching more potential witnesses sure can’t hurt.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern