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Cybercrimes detectives get help with social media from local high schoolers

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

While cybercrimes are becoming more common, detectives are looking to high school students for help.

St. Joseph County Cybercrimes Division held a training at Riley High School on Thursday. Over a dozen student volunteers showed officers how teenagers are using social media apps.

Sophomore Emily Vest says there is no better group to help law enforcement learn about social media.

“People my age are on their phones constantly. Either they’re in the room on their phone, outside on their phone, in the car or going to dinner on their phones,” says Vest.

Cybercrimes Director Mitch Kajzer says offenders often take advantage of the fact that adults may not understand the apps kids are constantly using. While his division works with technology all the time, he says the field is constantly changing so they can never stop learning.

“We use the apps on a limited base, primarily when we get investigations with them. We’re finding that in some cases we didn’t have the expertise level of what we need to do a really good, thorough investigation,” says Kajzer.

Riley High School computer science teacher Kristen Haubold worked with police to set up the training.

“This is an awesome opportunity for my students to be the experts and get to be the ones teaching an adult how to use something and they know the ins and outs and it’s so empowering for them to be the expert,” says Haubold.

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