The Wichita Falls Police Department has a new tool for the war on crime and it targets teens, not as criminals, but as crime stoppers. The Crimestoppers program is doing that by using a website that's right up their alley - Myspace. "What we're actually trying to do is target the students at the schools in a way that they are familiar with, something they can relate to," says Officer Harold McClure.
Here's how it works. Police post a blog about a crime in the area, or even at the school. "That way the students can look at it, they can read it, they can have a visual and say, 'hey, you know what? I might have some information about that,' and that way they can relay it to the Crimestoppers program," McClure says.
The Crimestoppers program, itself, isn't new. It's been working at Burkburnett High School for years and Crimestoppers sponsor Beverly Lee says this new element has kids already hooked in. "We've already had a case solved this semester and I have two rewards pending," she says. "And, they will be receiving their reward money soon."
Lee says the new Myspace site will make Crimestoppers that much more effective. "It's just an awesome program and I think it helps the kids feel like they have a safe environment to be in."
You might wonder what the new site is costing. It's pretty affordable - it's free.