ICAC Highlights National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Monday, April 15, 2013
Press Release 1304-013
Monday, April 15, 2013, 11:30 AM [RELEASE AT WILL]
In 1998, the United States Department of Justice began an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force to combat the growing problem of Internet-related exploitation of children. The ICAC Task Force laid the foundation for what would become a nationwide partnership of law enforcement agencies with the mission of protecting children online. Currently there are 61 ICAC Task Forces located across the United States representing over 2,000 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. Since its inception, the ICAC Task Force program has investigated over 280,000 complaints of alleged child sexual exploitation and arrested almost 30,000 individuals.
Since becoming a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children initiative the Colorado ICAC Task Force has accounted for more than 900 arrests.
CSPD is the task force lead and is one of 77 federal and local agencies involved in the fight to combat online exploitation of children in Colorado. This cooperative investigative effort transcends jurisdictional boundaries and allows the task force to work seamlessly in criminal investigations. The task force continues to train and equip investigators and forensic professionals as the landscape for criminal activity continues to evolve.
One of the primary missions of each ICAC task force involves reaching out to other agencies in our respective parts of the country to help them establish an internet presence and to build capacity and expertise. In so doing, we create an even larger network of law enforcement agencies capable of dealing with online threats and exploitation.
Each primary member agency works independently on issues in its own jurisdiction, but also works cooperatively with the other task forces when a particular offense, the transmission of child pornography for example, crosses traditional jurisdictional boundaries. Because each task force is permanently established and task force members meet quarterly at national working group conferences, they all know each other and are able to combine resources quickly when a case demands it. (For more information regarding OJJDP ICAC Task Forces, please visit www.icactaskforce.org)
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) interacts regularly with ICAC offices, providing assistance during investigations where the suspect has solicited young victims from throughout the United States and other countries. The partnership between NCMEC and all ICAC Task Forces nationwide is essential to protecting society’s most innocent victims, children. Anyone having information regarding online sexual exploitation of children should report this information to NCMEC via a CyberTip (www.cybertipline.com). (For more information regarding NCMEC, please visit www.missingkids.com)
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect. The ICAC Task Force Program is an important partnership that focuses its efforts to protect children on-line and hold offenders accountable. The ICAC Task Force investigators are committed to working tirelessly to strengthen police relationships and promoting awareness and participation in order to produce positive results that help make the Internet a safer place for America’s children.