New Jersey has been awarded more than $380,000 in federal funding to protect children from online sexual predators, U.S. Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced Friday.
The funding from the U.S. Department of Justice will support “crucial” training programs for New Jersey’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and help ensure that local investigators are trained to use technology needed to combat online predators.
“This federal funding will help ensure that investigators in New Jersey are prepared to conduct complex digital investigations and stop online predators from reaching our children,” said Sen. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, which funds the Department of Justice.
“As criminals and sexual predators develop new methods to commit crimes online, we will continue working to provide New Jersey’s investigators and criminal justice officials with the training and resources they need to keep our families safe,” he added.
“Parents know that threats to our children from cyberspace are in fact a very real danger, and this is the type of serious investment we need to help keep them safe,” said Sen. Menendez, author of the School and Family Education (SAFE) Internet Act. “Online predators are constantly evolving their methods of attack so it’s absolutely critical New Jersey law enforcement have the tools and technology needed to not only keep up with them, but stay one step ahead of them so that no child will ever fall victim. I applaud the Justice Department’s initiative and will also continue fighting to ensure children get the education needed to identify, avoid and report internet predators.”
Through this grant, investigators and forensic examiners on the NJ ICAC Task Force will receive training from the National White Collar Crime Center to improve data acquisition and recovery techniques that are critical in tracking online predators. New Jersey officials will also enhance community outreach programs that educate parents and children about the potential dangers posed by online predators.
The NJ ICAC Task Force was created to help New Jersey law enforcement agencies improve their investigative response in pursuit of those who use the Internet or other computer technology to sexually exploit children.