Police patrol MySpace

BENSALEM, Pa. - October 9, 2008 - Determined to protect kids and teens, the Bensalem Police department has now opened its own page on the popular social networking site MySpace.

Now officers are asking kids to name them as a #1 friend on their personal pages.

Visit the Bensalem Police Department's MySpace Page by CLICKING HERE.

The hope is that it will deter child predators from trying to make contact.

"We hope they would go someplace else. They'll see our badge or our patch right there on the front of the page," said Det. Joe Sciscio of the Special Victims Unit. "They'll think twice about pursuing that child."

"It's a red flag," said Sgt. Andy Aninsman. "It's a major deterrent and, in the same token, the young kids have the police department as their friend on their MySpace page."

It's no secret child predators are constantly trolling the internet for targets.

Folks we talked with tell us they think seeing police logos on a child's MySpace page could make a difference.

"It will keep predators away from kids if they have a police officer friend on their MySpace page," said Amy Brittenham of Bensalem.

14 year old Rebecca Rittenhouse said she likes the idea of putting the police on her page.

"I would do it because I don't want that sort of thing happening to me and if it does I can talk to a police offier about it."

"If trouble does come knocking on their door they have us right there at their disposal," said Det. Sciscio. "All they have is one mouse click and they can let us know if something bad is going on on MySpace."

So far a couple dozen kids have made the police their number one best friend. That number is expected to grow as more people learn about the idea.

Kids who live outside Bensalem are also welcome to put the police on their friends list.

Visit the Bensalem Police Department's MySpace Page by CLICKING HERE.

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