Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today announced that the Seattle Police Department has been awarded $450,000 for their Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force by the U.S. Department of Justice office of Justice Programs.
“As policymakers and parents, we’re all concerned for the safety of children as they use the Internet and enjoy the benefits it has to offer,” said Smith. “Currently 73 percent of American teens actively use the Internet. By 2002, there will be an estimated 45 million children online. It’s absolutely shocking, but 20 percent of all children regularly online have had requests to engage in sexual activity in the last year alone. The Seattle Police Department has done an amazing job focusing on this critical area and today’s announcement will enable them to expand their efforts.”
In 2000 the Seattle Police Department received an 18 month, $300,000 grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for the funding to enhance, develop, and coordinate improved investigation and response to Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC). This taskforce is one of 29 that have been developed nationwide.
The Special Investigations Unit of the Seattle Police Vice Section is the ICAC Task force for Washington State. The ICAC Task Force investigates any computer crime involving children anywhere in the state. These crimes can include: sexual exploitation of children, child pornography, child cyber-stalking, communication with a minor, and sexual assault of children.
Currently the Seattle Police Vice – Special Investigations Unit/ICAC Task Force works together with Federal, State and Local jurisdictions on ICAC cases. This multi-jurisdictional approach to law enforcement via the Internet has been quite successful. In 2000 ICAC Detectives opened 144 cases. This is an estimated increase in ICAC cases since 1999. This has also caused a significant increase in ICAC cases being prosecuted.