Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $200,000)
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 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. Through the hiring program for wounded, injured or ill veterans; awards under this program will assist ICAC task forces to meet the demand for effective and efficient forensic examinations to support investigation and prosecution of online enticement and exploitation of children by sexual predators and child pornography.
This ICAC task force area of operations encompasses all of southern Virginia, south of, and including, Augusta, Albemarle, Greene, Louisa, Hanover, Caroline, and King George Counties. The Bedford County Sheriffs Office is the primary forensic resource for ICAC affiliate agencies, currently having four full-time forensic examiners on staff. With a current backlog estimated to be approximately eighteen months, there is a pressing need to further increase forensic capability, to reduce the backlog, and increase the number of offender prosecutions and victims identified. This award will add an additional forensic examiner, providing an expected 25% increase in forensic capability, as measured in monthly performance measures submitted by each individual examiner and compared to the cumulative totals over various time periods and reported semi-annually.(CF/NCF)