Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $500,000)
The exponential growth and evolution of technology has brought about significant changes in the way people communicate, access information, share data files, and connect with each other. However, with these advancements come new challenges, particularly for law enforcement agencies tasked with investigating online child exploitation. To stay up-to-date with the features and capabilities of new technologies, there is a need for ongoing training and education. To address this challenge, this project will provide Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) investigators with comprehensive training to combat online child exploitation. The training will focus on providing investigators and examiners with the necessary skills to effectively investigate online crimes against children. One component of the approach involves hands-on, laboratory-based training for investigators and examiners, where they will learn how to use the latest technology tools and techniques to investigate cases. This approach is designed to ensure that investigators and examiners have a practical understanding of the latest investigative techniques and technologies and forensic methodologies. Another component of the approach is a longer-term strategic component that will evaluate the training to determine best practices that other ICAC Task Forces across the country can replicate. This component is essential to ensure that the training is effective, efficient, and relevant.