Yakima PD hosts public cyber safety presentation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima PD hosts public cyber safety presentation

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, WA - Yakima Police are working with the public to try and make Valley kids safer online.

Tonight, the department is hosting a free cyber safety presentation. It's at 6 o' clock at West Valley Junior High School and is open to parents and any other adult community members.

An officer from YPD's Special Assault Unit will be showing the many methods predators are using on social media and apps to lure young victims.

Reporter Veronica Padilla spoke with the department earlier this afternoon and they say that even in Yakima there have been cases where adults have traveled here from across the country with the hopes of meeting an underage kid.

While some parents may be hesitant to take a closer look at what their kids are doing online, police say parents can't underestimate anyone trying to victimize children.

"There's really no expectation of privacy when it comes to protecting your children," said Mike Bastinelli, spokesman for the Yakima Police Department. "Parents need to understand that they're responsible for their children and many of these predators; they're skilled at luring children." 

There's another aspect of tonight's class: YPD will also teach the ways kids can get in trouble with police by using technology inappropriately, including sending inappropriate pictures on social media.

The class at West Valley Junior High School on 75th Avenue and Zier Road is expected to last about 90 minutes.