APD Introduces New Weapon Against Crime
Source: KXAN 36 NEWS
Date: January 15, 2004
A growing number of Central Texas children are being cyber stalked and exploited by online predators.
Now police and child advocates have a new, mobile weapon in their fight against predators that could increase safety for your kids and your community.
"Those who would exploit children keep finding new ways to do it," Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle said.
"Now today we have a new perpetrator, one who can reach children silently and in their own homes," Sandra Martin with the Children's Advocacy Center said.
"We are somewhat taken aback by the extensive use of the Internet to lure children into very dangerous situations," APD Police Chief Stan Knee said.
"My main job is to go out to the crime scene, seize the computer, and process the date of the digital crime scene to support the prosecution," APD Computer Forensic Examiner Detective Roy Rector said.
But skyrocketing caseloads often meant splitting evidence into several cars and among several detectives.
"This has become a problem because we have to safeguard equipment we seize because that becomes evidence and it truly becomes important to the eventual conviction of the perpetrator," Earle said.
It is a new tool to help detectives like Rector and child advocates fight Internet exploitation.
"It's the computer forensics van," Rector said, "We have this lower level where I can have boxes, bags, all i need to process the crime scene and this platform here will be used to actually transport evidence back."
"We can bring this van when we serve a search warrant, download the guts from that computer system, download the information to make the case," Knee said.
"It has so simplified the job," Rector said.
Charitable donations from the community funded the new van. While the focus is child abuse now, police said it will help their fight against all kinds of cyber crime.
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