Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $500,000)
The exponential growth and evolution of technology has resulted in a surge of communications, finding information, trading data files, and connecting with others. This growth in technology emphasizes the challenges for law enforcement to stay up-to-date on the features and capabilities of new technologies. The proposed approach will expand upon SEARCH’s multifaceted strategy to provide ICAC investigators with training to combat on-line child exploitation. This component will encompass training investigators and prosecutors, utilizing hands-on, laboratory-based training for investigators as well as prosecutors. A longer-term strategic component to the project will evaluate training to determine practices that other ICAC Task Forces across the country can replicate. The expected outcomes of this project include providing much-needed resources to address the challenges caused by technology advancements, particularly to exploit children. It will also provide law enforcement with the necessary tools, expertise, and skill sets to combat technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation, through a comprehensive program of training. Moreover, this project will increase the overall capacity to train ICAC investigators, examiners, and prosecutors nationally.