Posted on 2/2/14

mad citizen police academyMADISONVILLE, KY (10/31/12) – This weeks’ Citizen’s Police Academy at the Madisonville Police Department was a particularly interesting one. We learned about the concept of 911 Dispatch and internet crimes.
First off, I have to thank our 911 Dispatch workers for their dedication to their jobs. It sounds easy. Pick up the phone, take down some notes, and tell the officers what’s going on. Unfortunately, there is so much more to being a Dispatch worker than that. Even LT. Robert Carter, a Madisonville Police Officer, stated that being a Dispatcher was 10 times harder than being an officer.
Consider the fact that these people are major multi-taskers. We automatically assume that Dispatch is police-oriented only. This could not be further from the truth. Dispatchers cover all law enforcement, fire departments throughout the county, Humane Society, Utilities, Child Protection Services, Constables, and so much more.
That is a lot to cover. However, that is not all. There are a limited number of Dispatch workers. This requires major multi-tasking. One Dispatcher will be answering one call, taking notes, dispatching officers/firefighters/etc, and at the same time answering a secondary or even a third call. This will all take place at one time. The Dispatcher has to be able to do several things all at once, with no pause in between calls. There are very few slow times for a Dispatcher. A special thanks to these folks, as they are very important factors in keeping our local citizens safe.
On the aspect of ONLINE CRIMES, well, that was a very shocking part of the class. The extremes of online crimes are unrealized by many. As technology has progressed over the years, the crimes have gotten more common and more severe. You would be shocked to find out just how extreme it has become.
Without going too deeply into details, there are a few tips you need to know about the Internet and your family.
1) Don’t take photos of your children with your cell phone and post them online.
2) Don’t put too much personal information on social networking sites.
3) Don’t trade your old cell phone in or pass it on to anyone else. If you get a new cell phone, destroy the old one.
Keep in mind that such criminal activities as identity theft, kidnapping, and child abuse are not specific to any one territory. This happens here, in our town. When you put too much information on the web, it’s easy to track down your exact location, your interests, photos of your children, their interests, where they attend school, and more.
These days many people spend far too much time on social networking sites. Though most don’t realize it, these sites are like jungles. You have the nice animals, such as monkeys, squirrels, rabbits, giraffes, etc, but at the same time, there is an equal amount of predators in the social networking jungles. Lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my! The reality of that last phrase is, “Identity Theft, Child Abuse, and Criminals, oh my!” It’s so simple for someone to track you down online now, simply because you are sharing too much information online.
Anyone can look at a single photo on Facebook, and by the end of the day know where you live, what your house looks like, your hobbies, your children’s ages, your place of work, and so much more. It’s all out there if you know how to track it, and the process of tracking is not difficult at all.
Again, if you are posting photos of your children online, or too much personal information, I strongly urge you to get rid of it.
Lastly, and once more, thanks to the 911 Dispatch for all the hard work and dedication to our community. You are vital to us, and highly appreciated.

J.L. Graham
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