WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today announced an award from the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of $400,000 to the Kentucky State Police to continue funding of the Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. The ICAC program encourages communities to develop regional, state or multi-state, jurisdictional, and agency responses to technology-facilitated sexual crimes against children. The Kentucky task force began in 2003 and combines the skills of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and computer specialists throughout the region in effective enforcement efforts against Internet crime.
"The ICAC task forces are critical to our Nation’s effort to safeguard young people from online victimization and abuse," said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales of the new funding announced today. "As a father and as the chief law enforcement officer, I care deeply about these issues, and I've made protecting our children a priority for the Justice Department. We’re proud to partner with and continue supporting the ICAC task forces."
In 2005, the Kentucky State Police ICAC task force investigated 313 complaints of child enticement, resulting in 22 arrests of individuals intent on meeting children for sexual encounters or who manufactured, traded, or possessed child pornography.
"As long as our children use the Internet, there will unfortunately be predators who seek to exploit them," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. "Since their inception just eight years ago, our Internet Crimes Against Children task forces have made over 7,000 arrests. This grant shows that the Department of Justice is committed to supporting the ICAC task forces and our state and local law enforcement as they seek to make their communities safe from Internet predators."
Nationwide, between October 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, the Justice Department-funded ICAC task forces have received over 13,800 complaints of technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation, which includes the possession, distribution, and creation of child pornography, as well as attempts by individuals to lure and travel to meet children for sexual encounters. Investigations initiated from complaints have led to over 1,400 arrests, forensic examinations of more than 6,600 computers, over 2,500 case referrals to non-ICAC law enforcement agencies, and the provision of training for more than 8,000 law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
ICAC task force members have been asked to help train law enforcement worldwide in methods to combat Internet crimes against children. ICAC task force presentations, publications, and public service announcements have reached hundreds of thousands of teenagers, parents, educators, and others interested in safe Internet practices for young people.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the
nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist
victims. OJP is headed by an assistant attorney general and comprises five
component bureaus and an office: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau
of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of
Crime, as well as the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates
the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
Desk. More information can be found at