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Kentucky Police use cards to nab crooks

Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police is betting high on a program targeting prisoners.

The agency is handing out decks of playing cards featuring cold cases in hopes of generating new leads.

Since 2010, the agency has distributed more than 8,000 decks and followed up on hundreds of leads.

Trooper Michael Webb says the effort has helped crack three out of 52 cases so far. While that may not seem like a lot, Webb says it is. 

Two of the cases were double homicides so that's four families that have gotten closure and have had some kind of ability to deal with the situation. The third one was a single murder and obviously that family has been able to have closure. So we've got five families that have been able to have closure as a result of this initiative," he says.

Webb says inmates are a good source of information because they're tuned into criminal networks. He adds they sometimes provide details about other criminal activity as well.

According to Webb, "the program cost approximately $16,000. The program was 100% paid for with a federal Department of Justice grant administered by the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training to the Kentucky State Police."

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.