The pandemic means other news gets less attention… such as six inmates escaping from the Yakima County (WA) Jail.
“Because of the coronavirus, the escape was not getting as much media attention as they (the authorities) would have liked,” explained Marine Diaz of the US Marshals Service.
Law enforcement activated digital billboards as part of the manhunt, and used billboard graphics and referred to billboards in all press conferences.
ATTENTION WASHINGTON STATE: Be on the lookout for these six men who escaped custody in Eastern Washington: pic.twitter.com/ojsuf1SgWo
— U.S. Marshals (@USMarshalsHQ) March 24, 2020
“They are extremely helpful,” said Diaz of the Marshals Service Investigative Operations Division.
On March 23, 14 inmates escaped from Yakima County Jail; eight were caught quickly. The next day, authorities displayed photos of the remaining six escapees on digital billboards. One escapee was located on March 25.
Five of the six suspects were soon after captured, and the “wanted” billboard creative was revised to feature the lone escapee. As of today (March 27), all fugitives have been apprehended.
From Yakima County across the country, OOH media helps local, state, and federal law enforcement. Likewise, billboards and other OOH media formats communicate public-health messages to reduce coronavirus risks.