The Fraternal Order of Police on Thursday honored John Walsh, host and creator of America's Most Wanted, and Peter Chernin, president of Fox Entertainment, for being instrumental in catching the so-called "Texas Seven."
In January, the show got a tip that led to the capture of six men (one committed suicide) who had escaped from a Texas prison, killed a policeman while robbing a sporting-goods store and survived on the lam for a month. Although the show doesn't always nab six at once, law enforcers frequently rely on the show to help catch offenders they can't find.
Tips from the show's viewers have led to 650 arrests-one per episode-since the show first aired in 1988.
The show has been criticized for being too violent and appealing to a less sophisticated audience--it was canceled briefly in 1996--but Fox executives don't want to hear it. "America's Most Wanted is probably the proudest thing we've ever put on our network," Chernin said, accepting the award alongside Walsh.
Several members of Congress attended the morning ceremony on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Reps. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and Lamar Smith (R-Texas).