BROOKINGS, S.D., Nov. 4, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation is using a powerful medium to fulfill their mission statement "to enforce the criminal laws of the United States" by posting fugitives from justice on digital billboards throughout the country.

What started in 2008 as an agreement between one outdoor advertising company and the FBI has grown into a program encompassing almost 20 companies and nearly 2,000 digital billboards. The FBI has the ability to send vital security information and "hot pursuit" alerts to digital billboard operators with the click of a mouse. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the FBI has attributed more than 35 arrests directly to publicity on digital billboards.

"Community service is part of the outdoor advertising industry's DNA," said Nancy Fletcher, OAAA president and CEO. "The FBI is able to reach citizens when they're most likely to see the fugitives – when they're out on the roads. Digital billboards are immediate, targeted, and they reach a mass audience very quickly."

The following responses from participating outdoor advertising companies and Daktronics customers illustrate the industry's commitment to community service:
  • "We are delighted to support the efforts of the FBI through the use of our digital billboard network. Knowing the time-sensitive nature of alerts, our digital network has proven to be an effective tool for the FBI. It is our hope that we continue to see success with this partnership," says Richard J. Steele, vice president of Adams Outdoor Advertising Asset Management and Development.  
  • Ron Cooper, president and CEO, Clear Channel Outdoor for the Americas, says, "The success of our partnership with the FBI in assisting the apprehension of dangerous fugitives has far exceeded our expectations. The ability to provide the travelling public with current law enforcement and other critical emergency messages within minutes after the need arises, and to update those messages just as quickly, has been an invaluable public service to the 35 communities where we operate our digital billboard networks. We are dedicated to expanding this initiative to every market in which we do business."  
  • "Lamar Advertising Company is thrilled to support the FBI's crime fighting efforts by donating digital billboards," said Lamar Advertising Company Vice President of Governmental Relations Hal Kilshaw. "By spreading their messages on our billboards, law enforcement agencies are able to reach a mass audience across the country very quickly. We are eager to continue assisting the FBI in solving cases more rapidly through our digital network."

The following specific success stories reveal how effective FBI use of digital billboards can be:
  • Early this year, the FBI caught up with a fugitive wanted for armed robbery in New Jersey after they received a tip from a citizen who saw the suspect's picture on digital billboards. Read the details in the FBI news release (http://www.oaaa.org/UserFiles/file/Legislative/Digital/FBI.pdf).
  • A Virginia drug suspect turned himself into the FBI this year when he saw his own photo on a billboard in another state, according to a USA Today article.
  • An article on cleveland.com reports that the FBI arrested a sexual offender in southern California after a driver saw the fugitive's  face on a billboard.

Daktronics, a supplier of LED display systems, with decades of experience in the outdoor advertising industry,  manufactured many of the billboards used by the FBI. Outdoor advertising companies are converting static boards to digital because of their high appeal to advertisers and potential for community service. The flexibility of digital technology, combined with a billboard's high impact, make digital billboards ideal vehicles to rally the public to fight crime.

Find more information about Daktronics digital billboards at www.daktronics.com/billboards.

Read more FBI success stories involving Clear Channel Outdoor for the America's digital billboards.

http://www.clearchanneloutdoor.com/assets/downloads/pdf_casestudies/fbi-success-stories.pdf

About Daktronics

Daktronics (Nasdaq:DAKT) is the world's largest supplier of large-format LED display systems, including digital LED billboards, large-screen video displays and control systems for sports and commercial venues. Daktronics has built and installed 52,000 LED displays in more than 100 countries, and offers more than 40 years of dynamic display experience. Daktronics installed its first digital billboard in 2001. For more information about digital billboards, visit: http://www.daktronics.com/billboard, e-mail the company at outdoor@daktronics.com, or call toll-free at (800) 325-8766.

The Daktronics logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=5476
CONTACT:  Daktronics          MEDIA RELATIONS:          Commercial Marketing          Dawn Waterman            (605) 692-0200 ext. 56748            dawn.waterman@daktronics.com          SALES RELATIONS:          Jeremy Johnson, Billboard Market Manager            (605) 692-0200 ext. 56597            Jeremy.johnson@daktronics.com

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