State Police Recognizes April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month
LANSING. In recognition of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is helping to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect, particularly online sexual exploitation of children. The Michigan ICAC Task Force is part of a nationwide partnership of law enforcement agencies with the mission of protecting children online and holding offenders accountable.
Some recent Michigan ICAC Task Force activity includes:
- The capture of a predator for using an unsuspecting family's wireless access point to exploit children.
- A digital forensic examination that assisted in the conviction of an ex-school bus driver who is now serving 18 to 50 years in prison.
- The guilty plea of a youth minister for using an Internet instant messaging program for sexual communications with minors.
- Investigating more than 1,000 Cyber tips a year.
- Supporting local agencies with technical assistance and financial aid to help strengthen their ability to protect children in their jurisdictions.
The Michigan ICAC Task Force offers the following Internet safety tips for children:
- Diligent parental supervision will help ensure your child's safety on the Internet.
- Remember that people on the Internet may not be who they seem. Never give out identifying information such as your name, home address, school name or telephone number in a public message, such as in a chat room or on a bulletin board.
- Be wary of any offers that involve you meeting an online friend or having an online friend visit your home.
- Never send your picture without first asking a parent.
- Never respond to messages or items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening or make you feel uncomfortable.
The Michigan ICAC Task Force is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The task force includes officers from the Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, Michigan Attorney General's Office, Antrim County Sheriff's Department, Wayne County Sheriff Department, Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Genesee County Prosecuting Attorney's Office , Macomb County Sheriff's Department, Grand Traverse County Sheriff Office, Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, Kent County Sheriff's Department, Ingham County Sheriff's Department, Kentwood Police Department, Holland Police Department, Muskegon Police Department, East Lansing Police Department, Lansing Police Department, Flint Police Department, Grand Blanc Township Police Department, Westland Police Department, Troy Police Department, Dearborn Police Department, Livonia Police Department, New Baltimore Police Department, the National White Collar Crimes Center, U.S. Customs ICE, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Secret Service.
To contact the Michigan ICAC agency in your area please call Michigan State Police Operations at (517) 241-8000 or to report a cyber predator or to request an Internet safety presentation, visit www.michiganicac.com
About the national Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force:
In 1998, the United States Department of Justice began an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force to help address the growing problem of Internet-related exploitation of children. Currently there are 61 ICAC Task Forces located across the United States representing over 2,000 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. Since its inception, the ICAC Task Force program has investigated over 280,000 complaints of alleged child sexual exploitation and arrested almost 30,000 individuals.
Each primary member agency works independently on issues in its own jurisdiction, but also works cooperatively with the other task forces when a particular offense, the transmission of child pornography for example, crosses traditional jurisdictional boundaries. Because each task force is permanently established and task force members meet quarterly at national working group conferences, they all know each other and are able to combine resources quickly when a case demands it. (For more information regarding OJJDP ICAC Task Forces, please visit www.icactaskforce.org)
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) interacts regularly with ICAC offices, providing assistance during investigations where the suspect has solicited young victims from throughout the United States and other countries. The partnership between NCMEC and all ICAC Task Forces nationwide is essential to protecting society's most innocent victims, children. (For more information regarding NCMEC, please visit www.missingkids.com)