The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida (USAO/NDFL) is committed to the protection of our children. Advances in technology over the past two decades have provided child sexual predators with new means of stalking and victimizing their prey. All adults have a responsibility to understand this evolving threat, and to ensure children aware of the danger and have the means to protect themselves. This Office is committed to aggressively improving public awareness, while at the same time prosecuting those who would sexually abuse children.
The USAO/NDFL’s Project Safe Childhood (PSC) program consists of 5 components; 1) expansion of partnerships between federal, state, and local law enforcement in prosecuting child exploitation matters, identifying, rescuing and assisting child-victims; 2) continued participation in national initiatives; 3) expanding federal involvement in child exploitation investigations; 4) training federal, state, and local law enforcement; and 5) community outreach and education.
Collaboration and communication are key components of our effort to better facilitate the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases. Improved sharing of resources between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies helps ensure that the most serious crimes are investigated and the most dangerous offenders receive the greatest punishment. The educational component of the USAO/NDFL PSC program is to raise the public’s awareness about the threat and prevalence of online sexual predators and to provide tools and information to educators, parents, and children to reduce the likelihood of harm to children and assist law enforcement in their investigations through the reporting of incidents involving minors. Additionally, this educational component of the PSC program assists law enforcement with their investigations by raising the community’s awareness of incidents involving minors and improving the community’s willingness to report these incidents.
The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program and the North Florida ICAC Task Force are vital parts of the District’s PSC program. Since the North Florida ICAC’s creation in 2003, the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, has worked closely with ICAC affiliates to provide and promote public outreach and awareness programs, as well as to investigate and prosecute state and federal crimes. The District has also worked closely with the Florida Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers to improve Florida’s response to child sexual abuse by providing specialized training, technical assistance, and other support services devoted specifically to this effort.
Any questions or suggestions regarding the USAO/NDFL’s PSC program can be directed to Assistant United States Attorney and PSC Coordinator, Frank Williams in our Gainesville office.