Police, community tackle cyberbullying, recruitment of gang members on social media

Call it a sign of the times. Police in Prince George's County said gang members are recruiting people and even carrying out crimes through social media.

Police are hoping to tackle this growing trend by getting the word out about this latest tactic.

The police department hosted a roundtable Wednesday to raise awareness about a new way gang members are targeting families across our area - social media. The discussion took place at Largo High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Police said gang members are using social media to communicate with each other and potential recruits because it is quick, effective and easy to connect with young people.

The best advice given at the meeting was for parents to keep a close eye on their child's social media accounts and know your children's friends.

Safe Cyber founder Reginald Corbitt was also on hand to teach attendees about social media trends and what to watch for.

"There are traps out there for them," said Corbitt. "There is also gang activity recruiting that is going online as well. There is also lots of cyberbullying. Gangs are also intimidating online."

This meeting comes on the heels of recent gang violence involving young people and reports that the gang MS-13 is recruiting members as young as elementary school-aged on Facebook.