Sacramento Social Media Club Hosts Crime Fighters for Online Safety Forum

Police converged on a ballroom in a downtown hotel Tuesday night, but there wasn’t a crime in progress. “Social Crime” was the topic of Tuesday evening’s Sacramento Social Media Club event hosted by The Citizen Hotel in Downtown Sacramento. Representatives from local law enforcement shared how their organizations are using social media tools to prevent crime, improve community outreach, and even take down predators.

Josh Morgan of Morgan/Dorado Public Relations and programming director for the Sacramento Social Media Club presented a “101” on Facebook Privacy. He explained how Friends Lists on Facebook can be used to limit information connections can see on your profile. Josh, for example, uses a list called “Not People” for businesses he “friends” and excludes that list from seeing family photos and other personal information. More information about Facebook Privacy settings is available at Facebook’s Help Center and Josh’s presentation is available on SlideShare.

Detective James Carden of the Fairfield Police Department introduced the “#1 Friend“ program which recommends that children, tweens and teens “friend” the Fairfield Police Department on MySpace and set them as their #1 Friend. Adding the Fairfield Police Department as #1 Friend lets visitors to the child’s page know that parents are involved and monitoring their child’s online activity and that this family has a direct link to the police department and will report any inappropriate or unwanted contact. Read more about the #1 Friend program on the Cops 2.0 blog site. Detective Carden also shared a “true crime” story about luring a predator to a fake MySpace account which resulted in an arrest.

Mike Belcher, Director of the University of the Pacific’s Public Safety Department, explained how his department uses social media tools, including Facebook and Twitter, to improve student safety and to enhance community outreach. Pacific is only one of two private universities in California with sworn police officers. Social networking and communication sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are used to monitor student events, share information on crime prevention, and stop inaccurate rumors on campus by providing timely accurate information. Recently, the department began using Nixle, a free service that allows subscribers to receive trusted, up-to-the-minute neighborhood information from local police departments, city and municipal governments, and their local agencies through SMS, web, and email distribution.

Social Media Club brings together journalists, publishers, communications professionals, artists, amateur media creators, citizen journalists, teachers, students, tool makers, and other interested collaborators. The Sacramento chapter was founded in March of 2009 by local users of social media. Events are held on the Third Tuesday of each month. Social Media in the Classroom is the topic for the September 15 event hosted by The Urban Hive in Midtown Sacramento from 6:30-8:30 p.m.. The keynote speaker is Steve Hargadon, Elluminate’s Social Learning Consultant, the director of the K12 Open Technologies Initiative at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and the founder of the Classroom 2.0 social network. For information about the Sacramento Social Media Club, join their groups on Facebook or LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter.

About the author: Laura Good is a member of the all volunteer leadership team for Sacramento Social Media Club. Follow her on Twitter at @goodlaura.

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August 20, 2009 | 9:25 AM

Great article, Laura. I wasn’t able to attend so I appreciate the detailed info. Looking forward to September’s presentation.

August 20, 2009 | 4:31 PM

This is an awesome story. Great stuff to be doing these days.

August 21, 2009 | 12:17 PM

Really enjoyed this story, very easy to follow. I am wanting to know more about some of these privacy settings on Facebook (I had no idea you could even do what was described above), so I will definitely check the links out. Thank you for covering, this is a lot of valuable information.

August 22, 2009 | 7:38 AM

So glad you found the information useful Kassandra. Here’s an article I found that does a good job explaining many of the Facebook Privacy settings:

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