Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $150,000)
The National Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, as established by the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008, 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 resource 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.
Funding is being provided for the purpose of hiring a wounded, injured, or ill veteran in the position of digital forensic analyst to: 1) enhance the digital forensic examination capacity of the City of Gainsville's ICAC task force; 2) improve the City of Gainsville's ICAC task force's effectiveness to prevent, interdict, investigate, and prosecute Internet crimes against children and technology-facilitated child exploitation, and 3) reduce the forensic examination backlog, and/or increase the number of forensic exams completed by the City of Gainsville ICAC task force. This project will serve to increase the forensic capacity of the North Florida ICAC task force, specifically for those affiliate agencies that do not have such assets internally. The forensic examiner would be trained to a high level of forensic knowledge, targeting both traditional computers as well as mobile devices. The immediate goals of this project are to increase the forensic capacity of the task force and to create a long term position with the initial start up cost funded through this award. This task force will increase training and collaboration. Success will be tracked through regular employee evaluations and monthly DOJ statistics.