Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force - (ICAC)

Sergeant Dennis Carry, (775) 328-3048, cybercrimes@washoecounty.us

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office takes and aggressive role in protecting the children of Northern Nevada.

Since 2001, the Sheriff’s Office has been part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, obtaining funding through the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). This funding has assisted the Sheriff’s Office in training and equipping investigators in becoming Cybercrime fighters. The I.C.A.C. Task Force is a component of the Sheriff’s Office’s Northern Nevada Cyber Center and part of the Investigations Section.

The internet phenomenon has opened an ever increasing dangerous area where predators lurk. Law enforcement has been required to adapt to the technological challenges of locating and identifying predators lurking in the shadows of the internet trying to exploit our children.

The Sheriff’s Office has taken a lead role in the Washoe County region by dedicating full time resources to the task force to track down these predators and help bring them to justice while protecting our children.

As the internet has no jurisdictional boundaries, the Sheriff’s Office has partnered with local and federal agencies to constantly continue this mission. The task force members are deputized as Special Deputy United States Marshals through their task force participation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (F.B.I) Child Exploitation Task Force.

These Cybercrime fighters work closely with the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security Investigations H.S.I. every day and continue to track down and arrest individuals who choose to exploit children.

The most common types of cases investigated by the task force include child pornography and online enticement. Investigators often mentioned the public would be shocked if they only knew the true size of this problem. Online enticement in which an offender communicates with a child and eventually attempts to meet them for some sexual encounter is occurring on a daily basis. When child pornography cases are mentioned, investigators describe the images and videos they locate to be some of the most unimaginable sexual abuse acts being committed against children. “These are not just nude images or videos of children, these are images or videos of children being raped or sexually graphic depictions”, says one task force member.

Although tracking these predators down is only one part of the approach to protecting children. Awareness and prevention is also an integral part of keeping kids safe. There are a number of ways to reduce online child exploitation. The following tips and resources can help prevent a child from becoming a victim of online child exploitation.

  • Choose an online service that offers parental control features.
  • Purchase blocking software and design your own safety system.
  • Monitor your children online and monitor the time they spend online.
  • Ensure children never reveal identifying information about themselves on the Internet, in a public chat room, on an electronic bulletin board or in their E-mail messages.
  • Ensure children do not give out personal information about themselves such as their age.
  • Get to know the services your child uses.
  • Block out objectionable material through your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission.
  • Ensure children never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent or threatening. Encourage your children to tell you whenever they encounter such messages.
  • If you or your children receive a message that is harassing, sexual in nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your ISP and ask for their assistance.
  • Teach your children that people online may not be who they seem.
  • Teach your children that online service providers never ask for passwords and they should never give their password out.
  • Teach your children to never let anyone pressure them into doing something they feel uncomfortable doing.
  • Some children have access to the Internet at school. Check with the school authorities to ensure your children are properly supervised and monitored by a responsible adult.
  • Know your children’s friends and their parents.
  • Set reasonable rules for computer use by your children. Discuss the rules with your children and post them near the computer as a reminder.

Please report any incident of online child exploitation to local law enforcement or the cybertipline at Cybertipline.com

Additional resources:

  1. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children www.missingkids.com  
  2. NetSmartz.org: Educational resources from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  3. Stopbullying.gov: Resource site to prevent cyberbullying
  4. https://www.facebook.com/help/: Resource to report Facebook issues.

 

 

 

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