CSI Georgia Targets Sexual Predators Intent on Harming Children
Initiative to Triple GBI’s Efforts to Investigate Internet Crimes Against Children
ATLANTA – Sexual predators using the Internet to entice children will find no safe haven in Georgia thanks to the Child Safety Initiative or CSI Georgia, a new initiative announced today by Governor Sonny Perdue at the headquarters of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
“Anyone who would prey on a child is a vile and disgusting human being,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Today we are sending a message to sexual predators: You will not be able to lurk behind your computer monitor any longer. We will find you, our courts will convict you and our prisons will keep you from harming our children.”
CSI Georgia triples GBI’s undercover special agent force dedicated to investigating child internet predators and child pornography cases with eight new agents. It doubles the number of GBI forensic computer specialists who collect technical evidence to prosecute computer crimes with five new specialists. The initiative will be funded with approximately $900,000 in the FY07 Amended or FY08 budget cycle.
CSI Georgia Agents and Forensic Computer Specialists will:
“The investigation of crimes against children is the top priority of the GBI,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. “The additional GBI staff in the Governor’s initiative will greatly enhance our capability in this critical area.”
In April 2003 the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention provided funding to GBI for the establishment of a Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Statewide Task Force. To date 30 law enforcement agencies throughout Georgia have joined the task force.
Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Justice reported that one in seven youth received an unwanted sexual solicitation over the Internet in the past year. One in 25 youth had also received an aggressive sexual solicitation in the past year. The number of ICAC tips received in Georgia has increased by more than 85 percent from FY05 to FY06. The GBI ICAC Taskforce has made 14 computer crimes against children arrests in the past six months.
There are currently four FTE (full-time equivalent) GBI agents that work on internet crimes against children (one that works on crimes against children full-time and seven that work on crimes against children as part of their normal duties). There are currently five computer forensic specialists at GBI.
Reports of child sexual exploitation may be made 24-hours per day, seven days per week at www.cybertipline.com or by calling 1-800-THE-LOST. In addition, citizens can contact their local law enforcement authority.
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