Young internet users! Do you know the danger signs in your online interactions? Officer Red Flag is here to help.
The flag-waving, whistle-blowing, uniformed character is the hero of a humorous new educational video from Windsor police, meant to raise awareness of the need for internet safety.
In the video, Officer Red Flag tries to warn an adolescent female about her communications via laptop and cellphone with someone who calls himself “Timmy.”
“Zero mutual friends? Fake profile picture? Creepy messages?” Officer Red Flag says with growing concern. “Oh, gifts already! That’s a red flag.”
Officer Red Flag tries to stop the girl from sending selfies to “Timmy,” but she still ends up agreeing to a “super duper alone” meeting with her mysterious online admirer.
Of course, “Timmy” is a moustached adult man with a bowl haircut and unwholesome intentions. Officer Red Flag saves the day by intervening with a flying tackle.
Windsor police spokesman Sgt. Steve Betteridge said Officer Red Flag is an actor, and the video is a professional production that was uniquely made for Windsor police.
“There is some comedy in there to keep the viewer focused,” Betteridge said. “But, obviously, it’s a serious topic at the end of the day.”
Windsor police are hoping to spread Officer Red Flag’s message with his own hashtag, #OfficerRedFlag.
While the video is aimed at children and teens, Windsor police remind parents, guardians, and caregivers that internet safety should be discussed in any household.
According to police, offenders often misrepresent themselves online — making it vitally important to educate young internet and social media users about situations like the one in the video.
Anyone with suspicions about an online interaction of this nature can call the Windsor police Internet Child Exploitation unit at 519-255-6700 ext. 4896.
Anonymous tips can be made via Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 or www.catchcrooks.com.