On September 26, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs announced that a newly-formed Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force will be funded through a grant for FY 2007-2008, and that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded “host agency” status for the task force.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has been an active member of the North Florida ICAC task force for the past two and a half years, and its dedication to the investigation and prosecution of these crimes has made it a leader in the area. In August 2007, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office applied to become the host agency for a new ICAC task force for the Central Florida area. The agency received notice that it had been awarded $265,000 in grant funds to serve as the host agency for an eighteen month period.
The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, and heightened online activity by sexual predators seeking contact with underage victims. The program is a national network of 46 multiagency, multijurisdictional task forces engaged in proactive investigations, forensic examinations, and prosecution of online child sexual predators. The task forces also provide forensic, prevention, and investigation assistance to parents, educators, prosecutors, law enforcement and others concerned with child victimization issues.
Sheriff Grady Judd says, “To be named the host agency for a new Central Florida ICAC Task Force is an honor. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has been involved with ICAC for years, and we have always put to good use the grant monies we’ve received to thwart predators’ efforts, and catch the ones who attempt to prey on our children.”