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Carmel police officers in schools make videos to protect kids from cybercrimes

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The Carmel Police Department is coming up with creative ideas that will keep students safer online.

A group of school resource officers have created a video that’s now part of “Truth Be Told,” a new series of internet safety videos created by the Carmel department’s school resource officers.

This week, they’re focusing on the dangers of Snapchat.

“We’ve done one on TikTok. We’ve done one on Omegle, which was an older platform or an older app, but still prevalent,” said Sarah Livingston, a school resource officer.

Carmel police Sgt. D.J. Schoeff, the supervisor of school resource officers, “Parents today are looking for ways to learn how to engage their children, how to keep our kids safe in today’s modern day communication.”

Livingston says Snapchat is a fun app but can quickly turn dangerous. “Just grabbing your geolocation, privacy issues, and the big thing that I think we were concerned about is, like, the quick-add feature, where you have these strangers just adding your children as friends and then they can snap back and forth without even knowing who this person really is.”

Livingston, who is assigned to West Clay Elementary, works with Officer Greg Zimmerman to create the videos to talk about the different apps. She says sometimes they’ll hear about complaints about troubled students. “It can be anywhere from bullying to battery to certain cybercrimes.”

Overall, officers say, it’s about building relationships with the community to help keep everyone safe. Schoeff said, “We have a team of school resource officers here in Carmel that are in the business of loving kids and trying to help build positive relationships with kids in our community.”

The Carmel Police Department’s school resource officer unit encourages people to follow their Facebook page for videos and information.

“Within Carmel, this is new. We have added school resource officers as a result of a referendum over the last few years and very soon to have 18 school resource officers in our program with two sergeants and a lieutenant on top of that, so a team of people who are dedicated and committed to the school environment to build relationships with our kids and keep our kids safe in that school,” Schoeff said.