The United States Attorney’s Office and Montana Attorney General’s Office Announce The Production Of A Dvd On Internet Safety To Be Used By Law Enforcement Statewide In Their Fight Against Internet Predators
The United States Attorney for the District of Montana Michael W. Cotter and Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock announced today the unveiling of two DVDs aimed at providing training on internet safety designed for use by Montana Law Enforcement and other trained professionals in Montana communities.
The U.S. Attorney's Office, the Montana Attorney General's Office, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children's (ICAC) Task Force contracted with the University of Montana Safe Schools Center to produce DVDs on internet safety. A second DVD directed at training law enforcement officers in the field of online exploitation of children was also created. The DVDs were completed following the award of a U.S. Department of Justice grant. The DVDs, for the first time, provide the ability to offer consistent training to all levels of law enforcement operating within Montana using Montana specific statistics and case examples. The Montana Internet Safety DVD is intended to be a tool for law enforcement and other individuals who will be trained to utilize the DVD in their communities to educate parents, teachers, children, law enforcement, prosecutors and all community members on internet safety. The topics discussed on the DVD include, for example, risky behaviors, predators, stalkers, illegal file sharing, cyberbullying and sexting. The DVD is intended to raise awareness in the law enforcement and general community about the identification, investigation, prosecution and prevention of online exploitation crimes.
A key element of the DVD, and the law enforcement partnership, is a one day "train-the-trainer" course on the content of the DVD along with what laws govern the use of the internet and what law enforcement may expect as a result of presenting this DVD to their communities. Law enforcement attendees to the training will be instructed on the most popular social networking sites that students and suspects spend their time on and a live demonstration on some of the undercover techniques used by Montana ICAC Task Force members.
In discussing the new training initiative, U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana Michael W. Cotter said, "Montana has been hit with the same wave of internet-related crime against children as the rest of the country. The training program and DVDs, developed through collaboration with the State of Montana and in conjunction with the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood Initiative, are more tools law enforcement and communities generally can use to combat the daily risks Montana's children face when they use the internet and other social media outlets. It will only be through the continued vigilance of parents, educators and the larger community that we can protect our children from the predators lying in wait on the internet."
Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock also emphasized the importance of the training and DVDs. "The digital world offers educators and families so many opportunities, but it presents just as many challenges. Rather than a handwritten note passed around a few desks, kids can send and share information through so many avenues- IM exchanges, Facebook postings, text messaging, photo-shopped images - so they need to be aware of the risks," Attorney General Bullock said. "As parents, educators and law enforcement officers, it's up to us to keep up with our kids. Kids might know more about technology, but they still need our guidance to stay safe and ground rules so they don't do something they will seriously regret, perhaps for the rest of their lives."
To request a presentation, inquire about future training opportunities, or learn more about this project, please visit any of the participating agencies' websites, www.justice.gov/usao/mt, www.doj.mt.gov, or www.mticac.org.
For more information regarding the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood Initiative please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov/. For more information on internet safety, please visit the Montana Attorney General's Safe n Your Space website, http://safeinyourspace.org. For more information about the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force please visit http://mticac.org.