|Re: Sheriff’s Office uses computer social networking site to protect children|
|Thursday, 04 February 2010 16:19|
Sheriff Paul C. May has released the following information:Reference: Sheriff’s Office uses computer social networking site to protect children
Sheriff Paul C. May has authorized his agency to open accounts in common social networking sites to help prevent children from becoming victims of internet predators. The sites, located on myspace.com, facebook, and twitter are computer social networking sites commonly used by children to meet and communicate with other people. Due to the anonymous nature of computer interactions, many internet predators use these networking sites to victimize children.
How does the Sheriff’s plan work to prevent internet crime? The parent or child can make the Sheriff #1 on their list of friends in these networking sites. By placing the sheriff as their #1 friend, it will first let others know that the child’s parents are involved and monitoring the child’s activities and secondly, it will let any internet predator know that the child and his family have a direct link to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office. Merely having the Sheriff on the friends list will deter most predators from attempting to victimize an internet user.
What should be done if someone approaches the child, over the internet, with an inappropriate message? First and foremost, save and make a copy of the interaction, including the suspect’s name and address. This will be evidence supporting your complaint. Secondly, file a complaint with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office using the Sheriff’s Office website (www.okeesheriff.org) or the non-emergency phone number (763-3117).
What will the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office do? We will assist you to legally stop the perpetrator from engaging in these activities. In cooperation with the social sites we will work to identify the perpetrator. The Sheriff’s Office will then either contact the perpetrator and order that the behavior stop, or take criminal action (depending on the nature and severity of the act perpetrated).
What else can be done with these social networks? The Sheriff’s Office intends to use this tool to send out public bulletins requesting help identifying unknown suspects. These bulletins will be kept up to date and on-line friends can choose to be notified on new updates. This can greatly increase the effectiveness of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office in keeping our community safe.
How do I contact the Sheriff’s Office? To file any complaint the public needs to call 911 for emergencies that need immediate attention. Also a call can be made to the non-emergency number of (863) 763- 3117. Making these calls will result in a deputy coming to speak with you in a relatively short time. In addition to calling, citizens have the option of contacting us, on-line at our official website at http://www.okeesheriff.org. On the website there is a crime/drug tip form available for making complaints or providing tips of criminal activity. In addition you can find the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office at our new social networking sites: http://myspace.com/okeechobeesheriff, http://facebook.com/okeechobeesheriff, and http://twitter.com/okeesheriff.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office is committed to the safety and wellbeing of the community’s children. We fully intend to support parents in protecting their children. We intend to provide the parents with as many tools as possible to help facilitate their children’s safety.
Sheriff Paul C. May said of the program, “The modern Internet world holds many dangers for our children. I hope what we are doing, makes their world a little safer for them.”
For any further information, please contact: