THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

March 20, 2009

MPD SOCIAL NETWORKING UPDATE

New technology and electronic social interactions are drastically transforming the world we know today. Like never before in history, our entire world is connected. The machines today are smaller yet smarter and give us the freedom to create, share and personalize communications virtually anywhere in the world.

Just a few decades ago, having a personal computer was a luxury; now almost every home in America has a computer. Our children today, as young as a few years of age, navigate a computer as natural as exploring a playground.

At one time, people had to keep up with technology, but today technology has to keep up with our imaginations. The birth of the Information Age has extended the reach of individuals in ways we never dreamed possible. With our world encompassed with new technology, we are no longer given the option as to whether or not we can or will participate. Computers and technology surround us in everything we do from online banking, business conference calls, web cams, email, online dating to earning a college degree.

The new forms of technology introduced into our lives can be safe and reliable as long as we educate our families, the community, and our children about the advantages and risks associated with each program.

With knowledge we have power. It is the commitment of the Madison Police Department to empower the community with the knowledge to safely take advantage of the technology that is available to us today. This is an effort to build collaborative partnerships between our educators, parents, and the community about the benefits and problems with social networking, the Internet, and cell phones. We hope to develop problem solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues regarding the rapid growth of new technology and electronic social interactions.

On March 10th, the Madison Police Department held a pilot program at one of our area high schools and at the East Police District, which resulted in an overwhelming response from the public to learn more about these programs. The information presented will be available on the departments website beginning April 1st, 2009. The next community meeting will be held at the West District with the exact date pending, but anticipated to be the end of April. The department is currently working with area businesses and schools for a location equipped with a computer lab to teach parents how to use My Space, Face book, and check Internet use. We will be creating educational videos on technology which will also be available on our website as early as this summer. Officers are available to respond to questions from the community about their concerns on technology and electronic social interactions. Individuals, organizations and youth groups requesting training sessions and information, can contact Sergeant June Groehler at 608-266-4590 or jgroehler@cityofmadison.com

Contact:
  • Sgt. June Groehler, 608-266-4590
  • Joel DeSpain, 608-266-4897