Thursday, May 18, 2006

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Awarded Federal Funding To Enhance Cyber Crime Enforcement

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that his Cyber Crimes Unit has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to establish an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force responsible for responding to online child exploitation cases in Southern Texas.

The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program is a national network of 45 multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task forces engaged in proactive investigations, forensic examinations, and effective prosecutions. The ICAC Program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child pornography, and the heightened online activity by sexual predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

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Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
Southern Texas

"The receipt of this additional funding will enable the Cyber Crimes Unit to expand its efforts to protect children and to partner with more prosecutors and law enforcement agencies across Texas to fight online child exploitation,” said Attorney General Abbott. “This award acknowledges the long-standing dedication of this office towards fighting cyber crime and protecting children. I am extremely proud of the work we're doing and I am committed to arresting and prosecuting child predators wherever they are.”

The Texas Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force will serve as a resource for all communities and agencies within the geographic area of responsibility, conduct both proactive and reactive investigations, serve as a forensic resource, and engage in law enforcement and community outreach activities to include training, technical assistance, and prevention and education activities.

OJJDP defines "Southern Texas" as including the following 142 counties: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Brazoria, Brazos, Brewster, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Cherokee, Coke, Coleman, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Concho, Coryell, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Ector, Edwards, El Paso, Falls, Fayette, Fort Bend, Freestone, Frio, Galveston, Gillespie, Glasscock, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Harris,

Hays, Hidalgo, Hill, Houston, Hudspeth, Irion, Jackson, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kendall, Kenedy, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Kleburg, LaSalle, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Live Oak, Llano, Loving, Madison, Mason, Matagorda, Maverick, McMullen, McCulloch, McClennan, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mills, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Pecos, Polk, Presidio, Reagan, Real, Reeves, Refugio, Robertson, Runnels, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Shelby, Starr, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Ward, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Winkler, Zapata and Zavala.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority in his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, has made 77 arrests since Abbott took office in December 2002. The Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, has arrested more than 270 such offenders. His office also has obtained convictions against 39 men on child pornography charges.

To find out more about Attorney General Abbott's efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the Attorney General's Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.