Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $570,266)
The National Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, consists of state and local law enforcement task forces dedicated to developing effective responses to online enticement of children by sexual predators, child exploitation, and child obscenity and pornography cases. Each State and local task force that is part of the national program shall: 1) consist of State and local investigators, prosecutors, forensic specialists, and education specialists who are dedicated to addressing the goals of the task force; 2) engage in proactive investigations, forensic examinations, and effective prosecutions of Internet crimes against children; 3) provide forensic, preventive, and investigative assistance to parents, educators, prosecutors, law enforcement, and others concerned with Internet crimes against children; 4) develop multijurisdictional, multiagency partnerships and responses to Internet crimes against children offenses through ongoing informational, administrative, and technological support to other State and local law enforcement agencies, as a means for such agencies to acquire the necessary knowledge, personnel, and specialized equipment to investigate and prosecute such offenses; 5) participate in nationally coordinated investigations in any case in which the Attorney General determines such participation to be necessary, as permitted by the available resources of such task force; 6) establish or adopt investigative and prosecution standards consistent with established norms, to which such task force shall comply; 7) investigate, and seek prosecution on tips related to Internet crimes against children, including tips from Operation Fairplay, the National Internet Crimes Against Children Data System, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline, ICAC task forces, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, with priority being given to investigate leads that indicate the possibility of identifying or rescuing child victims, including investigative leads that indicate a likelihood of seriousness of offense or dangerousness to the community; 8) develop procedures for handling seized evidence for ICAC task force lead agencies and affiliate agencies; 9) maintain reports required by OJJDP and other reports and records as determined by the Attorney General; and, 10) seek to comply with national standards regarding the investigation and prosecution of Internet crimes against children, as set forth by the Attorney General, to the extent such standards are consistent with the law of the State where the task force is located.
The Houston Police Department, Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (HMICAC) will continue to maintain, expand, and improve the Houston ICAC Task Force’s effectiveness in preventing, interdicting, investigating, and prosecuting Internet crimes against children and technology-facilitated child exploitation. HMICAC will provide training to affiliate task force investigators in reactive and pro-active techniques utilizing the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Operational and Investigative Standards. The HMICAC will continue to work with its affiliate agencies to conduct community outreach and awareness training regarding internet safety at schools, churches, and civic organizations to safeguard children from Internet predators. HMICAC currently has 70 HMICAC affiliate law enforcement agencies with signed Memorandums of Understanding. HMICAC will collect and maintain statistics from these affiliate agencies on the number of investigations initiated, the number of arrests and prosecutions of offenders, the number of forensic examinations completed, and community awareness training conducted.