WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced the PROTECT Our Children Act to reauthorize the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces that combat child exploitation across the country.
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand how the internet can be used in malicious ways to target children and put them in harm’s way,” said Klobuchar. “Through collaborative efforts like the Internet Crimes Against Children task force program, we can help provide state and local law enforcement with the tools needed to prevent cybercrimes and catch predators. Our bipartisan legislation reauthorizes this critical effort to protect our children and communities.”
The PROTECT Our Children Act, originally passed in 2008, authorized the ICAC Task Force Program, a coordinated group of task forces representing 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies engaged in reactive and proactive investigations across the country. The ICAC aids local and state law enforcement in the creation and implementation of effective responses to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children. In order to develop effective response strategies to online child victimization, the ICAC offers guidance on victim support, forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, and prevention and community education.
Organizations that support the PROTECT Our Children Act include the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT), National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), National Children’s Alliance, Rights4Girls, Shared Hope, Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, National Sheriffs Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, National District Attorneys Association, National Criminal Justice Association, and Major City Chiefs Police Association.
In addition to Klobuchar, U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Dean Heller (R-NV) are original cosponsors of the bill.
For a list of ICAC task forces across the United States, click here.