Bangor Police Department's social media following helps track missing girl

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - "It's kind of a collective place. It's like a co-op for kindness."

What Lt. Tim Cotton is referring to the Bangor Police Department's Facebook page and the Duck of Justice.

"It was a fun aside. It happened to take off and we're still growing today I think maybe because it's a little weird. It's a little different," said Cotton.

Take off, indeed. Their Facebook page has more than 300,000 followers.

"It's been quite an experience. I wasn't expecting to have this as part of my job. It wasn't part of my job interview."

Five years ago Cotton and his trusty sidekick the Duck of Justice took over the page and through daily, heartfelt posts it's gained a massive following. That following helped them track down a missing 11-year-old girl after a post about the situation.

"We put it out quickly and the shares took off. Within about an hour we had 1.7 thousand shares and nearly four or five thousand different comments and likes."

Including the estimated 10,000 followers in Bangor alone.

The young girl making it home safely. It's that happiness Cotton says keeps people coming back every day.

"If you just look at the comments you can see why people read it. They'll tell you. They say I like to wake up and have a smile, I feel warm, I feel connected, you just make me feel like I'm at a good place for ten minutes a day," he said.

They're even visiting from all over the world including 36 state and nine countries.

"Australia being the farthest away. And it's just been an incredible experience getting to meet all of the people and how excited they are to meet the duck," said Melody Blake.

Melody Blake says when she started here five years ago, the same time as the DOJ she never thought this would become such a popular tourist attraction.

"No one realized how this was going to turn out and the incredible reach that it has and I think when something like this happens when we have a little girl missing, I think it's amazing to think about," she said.