WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice announced today that 13 new state and local law enforcement agencies will receive more than $3 million to form Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces in their regions. The funding marks the presence of ICAC task forces in all 50 states, and will support a seamless network making communities and children safer nationwide.
New ICAC grantees include law enforcement agencies in Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia. The grants were awarded by the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs under the ICAC Task Force program. With the new grants, there will be a total of 59 ICAC task forces nationwide. Today’s announcement was made at the 6th Annual Internet Crimes Against Children National Conference held in San Jose, Calif.
“As long as our children use the Internet, there will unfortunately be predators who seek to exploit them,” said Acting Attorney General Peter Keisler. “While it is significant that our Internet Crimes Against Children task forces have made over 10,000 arrests since their inception nine years ago, it is even more important that we continue to give these task forces the funds they need, and increase the pressure on child predators from law enforcement.”
In fiscal year 2007, OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) awarded approximately $17 million to fund ICAC task forces, including the new task forces announced today. The task forces have played a critical role in stopping Internet criminal activity targeting children.
In fiscal year 2006 alone, ICAC investigations led to more than 2,040 arrests and more than 9,600 forensic examinations. Between Oct. 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2007, ICAC task forces have received more than 18,000 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 lead to more than 2,062 arrests, forensics examinations of more than 9,100 computers, more than 4,700 case referrals to non-ICAC law enforcement agencies, and provision of training for more than 25,000 law enforcement officers and prosecutors.
The ICAC Task Force Program is the foundation of the Department’s Project Safe Childhood initiative. Project Safe Childhood’s goal is to investigate and prosecute crimes against children facilitated though the Internet or other electronic media and communication devices. Project Safe Childhood is implemented through a partnership of U.S. Attorneys; ICAC Task Forces; federal partners, including the FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Service; advocacy organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; and other state and local law enforcement officials in each U.S. Attorney’s district. Other aspects of the program include increased federal involvement in child pornography and enticement cases; training of federal, state, and local law enforcement on investigating and prosecuting computer-facilitated crimes against children; and community awareness and educational programs.
Department of Justice Awards to ICAC Task Forces
Anchorage Police Department (AK): $299,956
Fresno County Sheriff’s Department (CA): $265,000
Delaware Department of Justice: $250,000
Polk County Sheriff’s Office (FL): $265,000
Idaho Office of the Attorney General: $250,000
Maine State Police: $250,000
Mississippi Office of the Attorney General: $250,000
City of Billings, Montana: $250,000
North Dakota Office of the Attorney General: $250,000
Rhode Island State Police: $250,000
South Dakota Office of the Attorney General: $250,000
City of Burlington, Vermont: $250,000
West Virginia State Police: $250,000
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus: 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. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov.