Hollywood Police Department partners with tech company to help keep kids safe online

Updated: Jul. 6, 2020 at 10:33 PM CDT
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HOLLYWOOD, Ala. (WAFF) - The Hollywood Police Department is partnering with a tech company to help keep kids safe online.

Bark is an app that allows parents to monitor their children’s online activity on on cellphones, but still offers some privacy to kids.

It scans conversations for clues about bullying, sexting, and drug and alcohol usage, and emails parents a screenshot.

“The children still maintain some level of privacy, but the parents also have the ability to look in and make sure they are doing what they are suppose to do. They can also set screen times if they feel like their child is using their phones too much. they can get in there and say you have no more internet access at this point,” said Jason Helpler, Hollywood police chief.

Helpler said they decided to partner with BARK after seeing a need for it in the community.

“Even in our small community we’ve seen a lot of issues come up from child pornography, from children trying to be sex trafficked or kids get so depressed that sometimes they get suicidal and they will start talking to their friend about it,” said Helpler.

Hepler said he wants kids to be cautious about what they put on social media and understand its potential long-term implications.

“Just because you are using Snapchat or Facebook has the feature where the message will delete that it’s not really gone and once it’s out there it’s out there. So if they know that they are being monitored maybe we can prevent that from happening and that not being a hurdle for them later on in life,” said Helpler.

Parents are able to try the app out for free for a week. After the week long free trial parents who sign-up through Hollywood’s Police Department will get a discount and pay $11.20 a month.

Click here to register.

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