22 people in Richmond County were arrested over the weekend in an undercover sting called “Operation Mayday.” Some of them worked with children, others included a soldier, a deputy jailer and corrections officer. They will stay in jail until they go before a judge and Sheriff Richard Roundtree says there may be more arrests.
Special Agent Debbie Garner says several of the people arrested admitted to having sexual contact with a child before. She says parents need to be more guarded than ever.
“The predators are nice to them they promise them that they will take care of them there are all sorts of ways that they will entice a child to meet with them.”
Special Agent Garner says social media has made it much easier for predators to lure children. That has many parents wondering about boundaries when it comes to kids and their devices.
These moms share those same concerns about the often deceptive world of social media.
One admits she takes her teenager’s phone and checks through the apps. Another says she worries that her daughter’s self-esteem is tied to selfies.
Local counselor Corrie Weathers says it’s important to remember that this generation is like no generation before, thanks to technology.
“We have no idea what this generation is going to look like or function like as adults and so parents are trying to figure out ‘how do I parent?’ not knowing how this is really going to affect them. I think it’s good for parents to sometimes say, ‘you’re right I don’t know what this is like so why don’t you tell me what is it like for you and then I will figure out then how to teach you how to mentor you.'”
Weathers says it’s important to talk to your kids about your expectations from them and what they expect from you.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, there are four major dangers of using social networking sites:
OVER SHARING INFORMATION— like birthdays, and phone numbers to set up a profile. Simple things like your favorite color can tip off a hacker to try to see if you used that as a password.
HE’S NOT WHO YOU THINK HE IS— social networking sites make it very easy to pretend to be someone else.
LOCATION-BASED SERVICES— predators can use this tool to determine when you are alone or not at home.
POSTING PHOTOS— while it can be fun, it’s risky. your images can by manipulated with photo editing… and used for good or bad purposes.