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MySpace.com helps Ark. police link to students

By Kayla Carrick
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As school resource officers, Jon Schwulst and Fran Hichens' office doors are open to students. But for some students, approaching the officers at school can be a daunting task. To reach out to those students, the North Little Rock police officers have pages on MySpace, a popular social networking site. It is a way for Schwulst and Hichens to reach out to students who spend an ever-increasing amount of their time dabbling on the Internet. In the past year, about two dozen pages sponsored by police departments across the country have appeared on MySpace, which has about 160 million profile pages in all.

For Schwulst and Hichens, the idea to use their personal pages to connect with students came up by accident. Schwulst said Internet-savvy students found his page a couple of years ago and began to send him messages - some just saying hello and others reporting incidents anonymously.

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