Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $769,157)
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 Texas Office of the Attorney General (TX OAG) ICAC Task Force will continue to maintain, expand, and improve the Southern Texas ICAC task force's effectiveness in preventing, interdicting, investigating, and prosecuting Internet crimes against children and technology-facilitated child exploitation. The Southern Texas ICAC task force consists of 134 counties within the Southern Texas ICAC Region, which stretches along the Texas coastline and east toward Louisiana. ICAC grant-funded personnel are critical in addressing the increased caseload and providing investigative and forensic assistance to law enforcement in areas where expertise is required. The Texas OAG will continue training ICAC and non-ICAC personnel. Emphasis will continue to be on collaborating with law enforcement and local and federal prosecutors to support the investigation and prosecution of child predators. Additionally, mental wellness training of investigators, supervisors, and support staff remains a priority to ensure personnel are sufficiently equipped to prevent and mitigate the negative effects associated with conducting investigations involving child pornography.