Fighting Internet crime at Fox Valley Technical College

GRAND CHUTE — The fight against Internet crimes involving children is getting a renewed boost from the federal government.

It keeps up to $25 million over four years flowing into a program at Fox Valley Technical College.

Each dot on this map represents someone logged on to a child pornography site. Brad Russ says there are hundreds nationwide and beyond.

"You can see the magnitude of the problem," said Brad Russ, director of the Criminal Justice Training Center at FVTC.

The program is called "Round-up." It's part of the ongoing effort to stay ahead of would-be offenders.

"Now, they can access material anywhere in the world very rapidly. Everybody's got web cams now. It's a lot more prevalent problem I think than it ever used to be," said Russ.

Russ runs the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College in Grand Chute. A federal grant from the Child Protection Act of 2012 pays for the program, and training for officers.

During a recent training session, Appleton Police Department Sergeant Polly Olson went undercover, posing as a mother of two young girls.

Olson said it didn't take long to get a response.

"He was approaching me. He wanted to travel, to meet my kids in exchange for some sex with my kids," said Sgt. Olson.

Olson tracked the number to a sex offender in Wyoming.

"They were able to pick him up, and are actually prosecuting him for that offense," said Olson.

In the last two years, the Internet Task Force has made 4,000 arrests, executed more than 6,000 search warrants, and saved 84 children from abusive situations.

Congressmen Reid Ribble voted for the initiative.

"As a parent, and grand parent, protecting children matters to every single family," said Rep. Reid Ribble, R-8th District.

"That's the thing that we're all working towards, is how to interdict these crimes before they happen, or help children who have been victimized.”

In the task force's 15 years, it has assisted in 33,000 arrests for suspected computer crimes against children. 

That's on average half a dozen a day.

Copyright 2014 WLUK TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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