On May 27, 2015, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III and representatives from several federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and victim-services providers observed National Missing Children's Day by convening in Tampa to announce an expanded national child safety campaign called “Be Here for Kids.”
Originally created in 2007 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) as a campaign to prevent, enforce, and prosecute crimes of exploitation against children, “Take 25” urged parents to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about Internet safety, prevention, and abduction. This year, NCMEC has expanded the mission to encourage the public to get involved in finding and protecting children. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida is a proud partner of NCMEC’s "Be Here for Kids” campaign.
The Department of Justice is committed to the safety and well-being of our children and has placed a high priority on protecting and combating the sexual exploitation of minors. In 2006, Project Safe Childhood was launched by the Department of Justice as a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat child exploitation by combining law enforcement efforts, community action, and public awareness. The goal of Project Safe Childhood is to reduce the sexual exploitation of children.
From October 1, 2013, through April 30, 2015, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida, with the close assistance of numerous federal, state, and local agencies, brought 204 Project Safe Childhood cases against 209 individuals.
Law enforcement agencies participating in today’s event included representatives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Tampa Police Department, and the Clearwater Police Department (Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force Against Human Trafficking).