To schedule a speaker, please email Sgt. Jesse Hambrick or call him at (770) 577-5106.
Because computers, text messages, and other electronic media are becoming common place in our society, many young adults now use the internet to communicate with friends. These social networking sites can be enjoyable and a great way to keep in touch if are used properly and when activity is monitored regularly, but some young adults use them to display illegal activity and gang related behavior.
For example, gang members are more commonly using social websites like MySpace and Facebook to show allegiance to a gang. Kids that are experimenting with gang involvement, as well as those that are actively participating in gangs, often use these sites as a form of electronic graffiti. Therefore, it is a great source of information for law enforcement and can be for parents as well to learn about different people by what they place on their sites.
Many gang members will use colors, pictures downloaded from the internet, music choices, and videos to show allegiance to a gang. Many times members will place their own pictures on these sites that show them flashing gang signs, posing with weapons and cash, as well as pictures of them involved in other activity that they would not want the police or parents to know about.
Many times social media sites are used for other illegal or improper behavior as well such as bullying and other harassing behavior, physical threats of violence, racial discrimination, and they act as a way for kids to access information on where to find parties, alcohol, or other dangerous drugs. Virtual interaction thru social media is as much a part of many people's daily activity as real interaction with friends and acquaintances. Often fights and other problems that occur at school are blamed on comments or activity posted on a social website away from school. Suicides and acts of school violence are often broadcast on a social networking site before they are committed. Any suspicious posts can be reported to the Sheriff's Office or you can fill out the anonymous form to relay your concerns.
Many sites do a good job of filtering out videos or images that might be sexually explicit, but they do not filter out other videos that show extremely violent images, racist images and music, information on how to avoid getting caught with illegal items. They even go so far as host videos that teach viewers how to better commit crimes such as thefts. Parents and loved ones should know that many videos posted on these sites are just advertisements for other sites and will often have a link or tell kids how to access things like pornography.
We suggest that you become familiar with your child's internet activity and know which sites they use. Many times a parent can conduct an area search or a search specifically for their child's name in order to monitor their internet activity or you can search for information on your child's friends who may be of concern to you. It is, however, always best to have your child give you their password or have them show you their account so that you can see what they are posting.
The following is a list of the common sites that are being used by young adults.