Mobile Law Enforcement Discuss Social Media Dangers

Kids with drugs, guns, fighting all images that have made their way online from students in the Mobile County Public Schools, and the trend seems to have a lot to do with handheld devices.

"We recognize that, that is one of the primary mediums of learning for kids, the district does, and we actually encourage actually, bring your own device, but with that being the case we also have to encourage responsible use," said Andrew Howard, MCPSS Resource Officer.

But more of what students post online have been the subject of investigations.

"Cyber bullying is one of them, cyber harassment, threatening someone online, if someone is trying lure or entice a child into some activity or to another location it's definitely something we would want to look at," said Commander Kevin Levy, MPD Cyber Intelligence Unit.

So the push has been for parents to watch what their kids publish.

But this Wednesday police are stepping up their message; they're putting out a video that will be played throughout the Mobile County Public Schools and online.

"No one is really is really communicating with our youth, and it doesn't matter what background you come from what's your economic status, we've just become a society that's completely inundated with anything social media," said Curtis Graves, Mobile Police Director of Strategic Initiatives.

"When you post a picture of yourself doing something online that's illegal, whether it's holding some sort of contraband or some item, or engaging with people and it gets posted online you can't really undo that," added Levy.

And police are also calling parents to make sure they have access to their kids accounts and devices.

"If they're going to give them some leverage and what they allow them to do they also need to know there're consequences, for violating those boundaries and they need to not be afraid to enforce them to keep their kids safe," said Levy.

But police acknowledge it's a challenge as parents keep up with technology that's constantly changing to help kids hide what they're really doing online.

Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida