by Bob Grawey
The Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office will now partner with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) to better fight Internet crimes against children.
The joint agreement between the two law enforcement agencies allows the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office to conduct different types of investigations, using various techniques and equipment previously not available to the department.
Capt. Scott Fildes of the criminal investigation division for the sheriff’s office says some of the Internet crimes the department will be able to better combat include the growing peer-to-peer or person-to-person file sharing concerning child pornography. That includes children any age under 18 years old.
Other Internet crimes are solicitation of a minor, possession, distribution or manufacturing of child pornography.
“Crimes against children have always occurred in Sherburne County,” Fildes says, “however, with the advancement of technology, we are becoming more aware of these types of crimes and are better able to identify those who participate.”
Fildes adds parents should be aware of what their children are doing on the Internet and on their cell phones.
“Monitor their use and check chat messages and photographs that are being sent and received,” he says.
Whether a child (including teen-aged kids) is sexually violated or exploited over the Internet, cell phone or in a personal manner, help is available by calling a 24-hour hot line at 1-800-THE-LOST or 1-800-842-5678.
Funding for this five-year contract was granted to the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office via a grant through International Crimes Against Children, of which the sheriff’s office is a member.