New task force forming to investigate online child sexual exploitation and internet crimes against children – The Republic News

New task force forming to investigate online child sexual exploitation and internet crimes against children  The Republic

New task force forming to investigate online child sexual exploitation and internet crimes against children – The Republic News

Bartholomew County Law Enforcement Task Force to Combat Online Child Sexual Exploitation

Bartholomew County’s newest law enforcement task force is dedicated to addressing the issue of online child sexual exploitation and internet crimes against children. Led by Jay Frederick, a 33-year law enforcement veteran, this task force operates under the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s office.

Collaboration for a Stronger Impact

The task force is a collaboration between the Columbus Police Department (CPD), the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), and the office of Bartholomew County Prosecutor Lindsey Holden-Kay. By combining their knowledge and resources, these agencies aim to effectively combat the growing problem of online crimes against children.

“We are more powerful when together, and sharing ideas that work,” Frederick emphasized.

This collaborative approach is similar to the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Intelligence Led Policing Unit in Bartholomew County, which have successfully tackled mutual problems through joint efforts.

Part of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force

The local task force operates under the umbrella of the statewide Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. This state-level task force, overseen by the Indiana State Police, is one of 62 coordinated task forces in the United States.

Frederick highlighted that while there have always been individuals preying on youth, the use of online platforms and technology has facilitated crimes against children, leading to a significant increase in such crimes globally.

Grant Funding and Equipment

The task force initially requested a grant of $21,900 from the ICAC Task Force. However, they were awarded only $6,660, which must be spent on computer equipment and training. Despite the limited funding, Frederick emphasized that this task force enables them to access funding distributed across the country to support local jurisdictions like theirs.

The investigator stressed the importance of obtaining the right type of computers and trained personnel who know how to effectively utilize them for the success of the task force.

Importance of ICAC

The ICAC Task Force was established in 1998 in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the rise in online images depicting child sexual abuse, and the growing online activity of individuals seeking to exploit children and teens.

Throughout Indiana, ICAC has played a crucial role in assisting state and local law enforcement agencies, conducting approximately 184,700 investigations and leading to the arrest of over 10,800 offenders in the last fiscal year.

Funding for the ICAC program during the same period amounted to $40.8 million, supporting personnel, training, and technical assistance. The ICAC Task Force funding is part of the Missing and Exploited Children appropriation included in the Department of Justice fiscal year budget.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

    • Target 16.2: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children
    • Indicator 16.2.3: Proportion of young women and men aged 18-29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18
  2. SDG 5: Gender Equality

    • Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
    • Indicator 5.2.1: Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age group
  3. SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

    • Target 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible, green, and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons, and persons with disabilities
    • Indicator 11.7.1: Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age, and persons with disabilities