The e-newsletter of the COPS Office | Volume 2 | Issue 3 | March 2009

Child Sexual Predator Program

The Child Sexual Predator Program (CSPP) is a new funding initiative implemented by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (the COPS Office) aimed at reducing and preventing child endangerment and protecting communities from sexual predators. Launched in 2008, the program provided approximately $10 million to 23 state and local agencies to help locate, arrest, and prosecute child sexual predators and exploiters, and enforce state sex offender registration laws. Ultimately, the CSPP goal is to reduce child endangerment by developing and implementing plans to improve coordination and partnership in detecting, apprehending, and prosecuting sex offenders who fail to register and who sexually exploit and prey on children.

The CSPP Technical Assistance (CSPP/TA) provider is the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Technical assistance began with the Child Sexual Predator Program Kick-off Conference February 16–18, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. Agenda items included sex offender behavior/typology, internet exploitation, technologies used by offenders, best practices for law enforcement, sex offender research, sex offender apprehension programs, United States Marshals assistance, and NCMEC Resources. NCMEC technical assistance to grantees will continue during the 2-year term of the grant.

NCMEC a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984. NCMEC offers law enforcement powerful resources to help investigate cases of missing and sexually exploited children, track attempted abductions, and locate noncompliant registered sex offenders. The following are descriptions of some of the free resources available law enforcement and victim families through NCMEC:

Sex Offender Tracking

The primary goal of NCMEC’s Sex Offender Tracking Team is to conduct searches to assist law-enforcement agencies and state registries in their investigations of noncompliant sex offenders and provide them with lead packages to assist in the location and apprehension of these offenders. Team analysts will search across broad time and geographic parameters for potential links between these offenders and open and unresolved missing and exploited child cases. The Team serves as the information clearinghouse for any law enforcement agency regarding noncompliant, absconded sex-offender issues. For further information about other services or to request assistance locating a noncompliant registered sex offender, contact NCMEC’s Sex Offender Tracking Team at sau@ncmec.org. These services are available to investigating law enforcement ONLY.

Attempted Abduction Analysis

NCMEC has been collecting information on attempted abductions since the 1990s. Today, this program employs a team of analysts who proactively track and collect attempted abduction data and information across the United States. Attempted abductions analysts identify regional trends and patterns among incidents using NCMEC databases, external data sources, and geographic information databases. Analysts provide further assistance to law enforcement by linking attempted abductions that have occurred within the same geographic area, including available suspect and vehicle information. The Attempted Abductions Team compiles a weekly summary, which is available to law-enforcement agencies nationwide, in hopes of generating leads and identifying similarities among cases. To report an incident, request assistance, or ask to receive a weekly summary, contact NCMEC’s Attempted Abduction Team at attempts@ncmec.org. These services are available to investigating law enforcement ONLY.

Identification of Child Victims

NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program® (CVIP) serves two main functions. First, the CVIP analysts assist law enforcement in identifying unknown child victims featured in pornographic images using image analysis. Image analysis is the process of documenting clues within the images that may reveal the location of the child victim(s) and/or information about where the crime was committed. Once a possible location is identified, law enforcement is contacted and a localized search for the child victim and perpetrator is launched. Second, CVIP analysts help ensure convictions for the possession, production, and distribution of these illegal images are obtained using NCMEC’s Child Recognition & Identification System (CRIS). CRIS automatically recognizes which images contain identified child victims and generates a report detailing information about the law enforcement agency handling that case and providing age verification for each identified child victim. The CVIP has developed an evidence guide containing text descriptions, identifiers, and a list of partial filenames for child pornography series featuring identified victims. For information about other services, how to submit images for review, and how to submit a newly identified child or to request assistance, contact NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program at cvip@ncmec.org. These services are available to investigating law enforcement ONLY.

Online Reporting Of Child Sexual Exploitation

The CyberTipline®, www.cybertipline.com, allows concerned individuals and electronic service providers to report information online regarding the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child victims of prostitution; sex tourism involving child victims; extrafamilial molestation of children; unsolicited obscene material sent to children; and misleading domain names. The CyberTipline also maintains a contact list of many major electronic service providers in the United States.

Sexual Exploitation Prevention

NCMEC’s Exploited Child Division (ECD) is a resource center for the public, families, law enforcement, and others regarding issues of sexual exploitation of children. ECD analysts process CyberTipline reports; disseminate leads; and provide technical assistance to federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies investigating cases involving the sexual exploitation of children. In addition, ECD hosts NetSmartz411TM, at www.netsmartz411.org, which is a free resource in which anyone is able to access an extensive library to search for information related to online safety and to ask specific questions of NCMEC experts.

Calls for Service Regarding Missing and Sexually Exploited Children

NCMEC’s Call Center receives toll-free calls from many countries throughout the world through a 24-hour, toll-free hot line at
800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678). The Call Center handles lead/sighting information received from the public through both the toll-free hot line and voice-over calls received through NCMEC’s web site; provides assistance to professionals and families in the search for missing children and attempts to assist sexually exploited children; handles requests from families with travel reunification needs; assists hearing-impaired callers and coordinates access to communicate with callers in 140 languages; provides direct after-hours assistance to law enforcement; and provides safety information to help prevent the abduction and sexual exploitation of children. The NCMEC Call Center also manages the Child Pornography Tipline® on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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