Cornyn, Blumenthal Bill to Protect Children from Online Predators Passes Senate
by John Cornyn on June 16, 2017 at 9:55 AM
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and I released the following statements after our bipartisan legislation, the PROTECT Our Children Act, passed the Senate Thursday. This legislation reauthorizes the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies that combat child exploitation across the country. U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) were original cosponsors of the legislation.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program helps thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide with effective response strategies to support victims and help prevent future abuse. Reauthorizing this task force program will help protect children from online exploitation, and I appreciate Sen. Blumenthal’s partnership on this important effort.
“This bipartisan bill gives law enforcement officials critical resources to combat child exploitation, better protect survivors, and apprehend perpetrators. Most importantly, the PROTECT Act sends a message of hope to all those affected by the horrific crime of child pornography. I’m proud to have cosponsored such a significant piece of bipartisan legislation,” Sen. Blumenthal said.
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 who 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.