Police now patrolling social Web sites
Oct. 3, 2007
MILWAUKEE — Members of the Milwaukee Police Department now have a new beat to find criminals: social Web sites like MySpace and Facebook.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday that police officers have begun patrolling the Internet sites where guilty parties sometimes freely admit to committing various crimes without apparent fear of reprisal.
International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators President-elect Lisa Sprague said that by using such Internet sites, police can easily learn valuable information about potentially illegal activities.
“It really does behoove police departments to really be technically proficient on computers, and that includes social networking sites as well, because that’s a very popular way for youth to socialize or to transmit information about parties and protests,” Sprague said.
Research has found that individuals posting on such sites underestimate who will see their posted information and how it could be used against them.
The newspaper said that the social-networking sites have also become valuable tools for police on college campuses, along with becoming hot-spots for potential stalkers as well.