FBI to Use Clear Channel Outdoor Digital Billboards for “Most Wanted Messages”
Jennifer Gery/Brian O’Keefe
Clear Channel Outdoor Enters into Agreement with FBI to Provide Clear Channel Outdoor Digital Billboards for FBI “Most Wanted Messages”
Company president reveals on “Today” show that it’s making over 150 digital displays across the country available for bureau’s security messages
Initiative follows three successful criminal apprehensions in Philadelphia
PHOENIX – December 24, 2007 – Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO), today announced on NBC’s “Today” morning news program an agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to display “wanted” messages on all of its digital billboards across the country. This national initiative will commence immediately and follows the successful apprehension of three criminals in Philadelphia as a direct result of information displayed on Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboard network in that market. In addition to “wanted” bulletins, the FBI will be able to display high-security messages relevant to the communities in which Clear Channel Outdoor’s digital billboards operate. A protocol also will be established for high priority “hot pursuit” messages to assist apprehending suspects in the immediate aftermath of the commission of a felony.
“The success of our ‘wanted’ messages on Clear Channel’s digital billboards in Philadelphia was an impressive testament to this new technology’s effectiveness in aiding law enforcement”, stated Brett Hovington, FBI Community Relations Unit Chief. “The repetitive delivery of information to the public about the Philadelphia fugitives was key to prompting the calls that led to their surprisingly quick apprehension. Some of the most valuable information provided to law enforcement officials is anonymous, which is one of the advantages of billboards. They offer a degree of separation between the tipster and the authorities.”
Paul Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor, was interviewed earlier on “Today” and commented: “Since first launching our digital billboard networks, which are located in nearly 20 cities across the country, we have been committed to using this versatile technology to enhance public safety, from AMBER Alerts to quickly informing the travelling public in Minneapolis within 15 minutes of that City’s tragic bridge collapse this past summer. Our partnership with the FBI to use our digital networks to assist in the apprehension of fugitives and provide other critical security messages is a logical extension of this invaluable community service. As more digital networks are deployed across the country, they will soon be an indispensable tool for reaching the traveling public in all national as well as local emergencies and, most importantly, for homeland security initiatives.”
Many municipal governments have been quick to embrace digital billboard technology because it affords transportation agencies, police departments and other emergency services an extraordinarily effective means of quickly reaching people away from their homes with important public safety messages. Immediate notification of severe weather conditions, highway closures due to traffic incidents, disaster preparedness needs, or AMBER Alerts for missing or abducted children, can all be delivered to tens of thousands of motorists in real time by utilizing digital billboards.
About Clear Channel Outdoor
Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE:CCO) is the world’s largest outdoor advertising company with over 973,000 displays in more than 60 countries across 6 continents. In the United States, the company operates over 167,000 advertising displays and has a presence in 49 of the top 50 Designated Market Areas. It also operates airport, rail, taxi and mall advertising businesses worldwide. Its Spectacolor (U.S.) and DEFI (international) divisions are the global market leaders in spectacular sign displays, including in New York’s Times Square. Clear Channel Adshel is the company’s international street furniture division, which operates over 3,500 municipal advertising contracts worldwide. More information may be found by visiting www.clearchanneloutdoor.com