West Columbia, Texas receives a computer to prevent Internet crimes

WC receives a computer to prevent Internet crimes

 

Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 2:00 am

By KELLIE McKNIGHT kellie.mcknight@thefacts.com |

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WEST COLUMBIA — The West Columbia Police Department is the first department in Texas to receive a donated computer designed to prevent Internet crimes

against children. The Texas Moose Association donated the “Cop in a

Box.” The association has been involved with Safe Surfin’ since 2008. It is a program that helps keep kids safe from Internet predators.

“It is a crime that is growing,” said Texas Moose Association Regional Manager Ronald Trygstad.

Click below to read more..

West Columbia Receives Computer

Lynchburg Women of the Moose Presents a $3,500 Donation to Safe Surfin’

womenofthemoose

 

Lynchburg, VA - Some local women gave a big boost to the fight against online sex crimes.

The Lynchburg South chapter of the Women of the Moose presented a $3,500 check to the Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

That foundation awards law enforcement agencies with various internet crime fighting technology.

Tuesday they announced they would use the check to give the Russell County Sheriff’s office a program called Cop in a Box; a software program that trains law enforcement to target online predators.

“I want to make sure that they’re protected. That we do know there is a little bit more that we can kind of do to watch out for these guys that are out here trying to hurt our children” said Cheryl Hazlehurst of the Women of the Moose.

Women of the Moose has partnered with the Safe Surfin’ Foundation for several years. The organization has provided cop in a box programs for multiple law enforcement agencies state-wide.

 

Original Story Link
Author: James Gherardi
Date: Apr 23, 2013

IC3O (www.ic3o.org) and MOSAIC (Modern Slavery Abolishment International Collaboration) Pledge Support of Safe Surfin’s “Cop In A Box” Program

ic3o

 

25th February 2013

To: The Executive Director  of Safe Surfin,

Ic3o (www.ic3o.org) and MOSAIC  (Modern Slavery Abolishment International Collaboration), consisting of the current Commander of Scotland Yard’s Intelligence Services, Richard Martin, the head of Emmirates  Investment Group, Mr Raza Jafar and myself, strongly pledge our support of Safe Surfin’s “Cop In A Box” program.

The system you have created addresses the most important part of the counter hum.an trafficking, enabling those on the front lines to do their job better.

Please let us know how we can be of any assistance to your efforts. Very best regards.

Tony Schiena

Secretary General IC30 /MOSAIC Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Download the PDF letter here.

Don’t forget to friend the Safe Surfin’ Foundation on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

 

Waynesboro Moose Family Center #1309 March Newsletter Features the Safe Surfin’ Foundation

The Waynesboro Moose Family Center #1309 March newsletter features a wonderful article by their talented editor; Debbie Akers.

Erik Estrada, Sheriff Mike Brown and his Safe Surfin’ team were pleased to attend the fund raising event at Waynesboro, VA, Family Center and truly appreciate their hospitality. Moose International and Women of the Moose are to be applauded for their commitment to raising awareness about the evils that lurk online, their financial support to the Safe Surfin’ Foundation and their dedication to making communities a safer place for all chidren!

Excerpts from the article:

Internet and Cell Phone Predator Prevention.

by: Debbie Akers
Erik Estrada, a full-time deputy sheriff in Bedford County, Virginia and a spokesman for Safe Surfin’ was at the Waynesboro Moose Family Center in January, speaking about Internet safety. His visit was just prior to the release of the film “Finding Faith” which he and members of the cast are traveling around the country on the Finding Faith American Tour. They are screening the film and speaking on relevant issues the film addresses.
Finding Faith is inspired by a compilation of actual events that Sheriff Mike Brown has investigated through his Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Three victims were brave enough to come forward and tell their stories. In a recent Safe Surfin’ Foundation Public Service Announcement, one of the victims courageously told the story of how she was abducted by a child predator and remained captive for three days before being rescued by the police.
The last contact her family had with her was seeing her walk down their driveway in rural Virginia talking on her cell phone. The victim was met at the end of the driveway by two people who forced her into a pickup truck at knife point. She was abducted and held hostage until police rescued her in Pittsburgh, PA.
Michael Brown, Sheriff of Bedford County, Virginia, explains “This abduction occurred through the use of a cell phone and the new technology allowing kids to chat via these new smart phones.” The victim had been texting and chatting for several weeks by cell phone with someone she believed to be a 16 year-old boy. She felt the relationship was innocent and frequently chatted with the boy about normal teenage troubles. But the person she was chatting with was actually a 38-year old man who disguised himself as the boy. He and a female companion drove over 400 miles from his home in Pittsburgh to abduct their victim.
“We can’t just focus on Internet safety now. Technology is changing and child predators are always looking for new ways to hurt children,” Brown states. This story is a wake-up call for all parents to begin monitoring their children’s cell phones. The situation emphasizes the importance of parental involvement.
“This victim was one of the lucky ones, and we are so proud of her and her family for sharing this terrible experience in order to educate more and more young people. We are thankful that she wants to share her story,” Brown concludes.
The FBI estimates that 88 million [kids] are on-line in the U.S. alone and will visit one or more of the 40,000-plus chat rooms routinely visited by child sexual predators. Safety software parents could install on home computers might not prevent the threat. The FBI also reports a 100% chance that a child using the internet will be approached by a child predator.
The average age a child starts using a cell phone, is 12.1. The average age of when a child starts using a computer, is 6.
With the number of Smartphones, as well as simple wireless phones that allow internet browsing, Internet safety is not just on the home computer anymore. Technology is changing and child predators are always looking for new ways to hurt children.
cautionlaptopIn 2012 it was reported that 90% of US households have a computer and 82% of US Population use a wireless phone. 35% of wireless phones sales are Smartphones.
The most popular Smartphone activity is texting, followed by internet browsing and playing games. It is estimated that 184.3 billion text messages are sent a month.
Nielsen.com released figures for website usage in the US during May 2012 and Google came out on top across all websites in terms of total unique visitors, with its 173 million beating Facebook by over 20 million. Although Facebook came in 2nd for the number of unique users, it dominated the field, with people spending almost six hours per month on the site – three times longer than its closest rival.
To fulfill requests from its customers, nTelos Wireless announced the launch of a new custom parental control application in 2012.
Parental Control, is designed to give parents peace of mind in multiple ways, from offering custom reports that show who is texting their children to a GeoAlert feature, which alerts them when their child arrives safely at school or a friend’s house. In addition, a parent can also use the location feature to locate their child’s device at any time to determine where their child is located. The app can also alert parents when certain key words are used in texts, or when there are changes to their child’s address book.
“This app is perfect for parents who want their child to have a cell phone for convenience or emergencies, but also want to set boundaries on when and how they use their phone,” said Conrad Hunter, chief operating officer of nTelos Wireless. “Parents download the app to their child’s phone, and then use a website to set the controls and features.”
“In a mobile, digital world, parents need help to gain insight into their kids’ mobile lives,” Hunter added. “Without parental guidance, kids can easily misuse cell phones to become inadvertent bullies, or their victims, or worse. This was a feature our customers were asking for, so we’re delivering.”
Safe Surfin’ educates the public about Internet crimes involving children through its interactive website, special events, printed materials, public service announcements, and other educational opportunities. Free education software is also offered.
Safe Surfin’ has both the EZ Child/Elderly ID kit and the Cop in Box programs that we can implement in our area with the help of local law enforcement agencies.
The Waynesboro Moose Family Center donates annually to the Safe Surfin’ foundation in hopes of helping to make an impact. With the help of Safe Surfin’, the release of “Finding Faith”, Education, Law Enforcement and Wireless Companies, we can all help to protect and keep children safe.

Cop In A Box

copinabox150featuredThe number of law enforcement officers watching over our children’s Internet activity was so small the Safe Surfin’ and Sheriff Mike Brown decided to help. That help came in the form of a ‘Cop in a Box’. The Cop in a Box is a trained police officer with the knowledge and equipment to apprehend and remove sexual predators targeting our children on the Internet. Safe Surfin’ Foundation will provide funding, hardware, software and a proven training curriculum for agencies affiliated with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). EZ Child/Elderly ID Kit Every day 2000 children are reported missing and thousands of the elderly wander off. The key to recovering these children/elders is quick action by parents/ guardians and law enforcement. Safe Surfin’ offers the nation’s most comprehensive digital fingerprinting child/ elderly identification system. We ensure that we capture all the vital information required by the Amber Alert system. Our EZ Child ID/ Elderly form includes all 10 fingerprints and is saved in the universal PDF format. The parent/guardian receives the EZ Child/ Elderly ID CD or thumb drive with all the information on it. This aids in the reporting time if a child is abducted or an elder is missing. The parent/guardian can either take the CD or email the form to a police department.

EZ Child/Elderly ID System

EZChildSeniorIDKitLogoThe number of law enforcement officers watching over our children’s Internet activity was so small the Safe Surfin’ and Sheriff Mike Brown decided to help. That help came in the form of a ‘Cop in a Box’. The Cop in a Box is a trained police officer with the knowledge and equipment to apprehend and remove sexual predators targeting our children on the Internet. Safe Surfin’ Foundation will provide funding, hardware, software and a proven training curriculum for agencies affiliated with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).

 

Download the Waynesboro Moose Lodge Newsletter here.

Camarillo Moose Lodge Donates Internet Safety Tools to Law Enforcement

Original Article Link: Ventura County Star
By: Mark Storer
Original Article Date: 02/12/2013

Camarillo is about to get a little bit safer, according to Lloyd Wyckoff, president of District 14 of the Loyal Order of Moose.

Wyckoff was at the Camarillo Moose lodge Saturday along with lodge members to present Ventura County Sheriff’s Office staff assigned to Camarillo with a new computer system called “Cop In A Box.”

Carlos Chavez/Special to the Star Women of the Moose leader Lisa Wyckoff stands with actor Erik Estrada on Saturday at the Camarillo Moose lodge. Members donated computer equipment to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office to help the department keep kids safe when surfing the Internet.

Carlos Chavez/Special to the Star
Women of the Moose leader Lisa Wyckoff stands with actor Erik Estrada on Saturday at the Camarillo Moose lodge. Members donated computer equipment to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office to help the department keep kids safe when surfing the Internet.

An event Saturday raised enough money for the $3,500 computer for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and $3,000 for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, which designed “cop in a box.” The Bedford, Va.-based nonprofit aims to keep children safe from Internet predators and prevent child abductions.

Safe Surfin’s spokesman, actor Erik Estrada, was on hand Saturday to present the computer and raise funds for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation. Estrada rose to fame in the

1970s and ’80s television show “CHiPs” about the California Highway Patrol.

He recently starred in the movie “Finding Faith” produced by Safe Surfin’ and based on several true stories of Internet crimes against children. Estrada plays a character based on Michael Brown, the Bedford, Va. County sheriff and executive director of Safe Surfin’.

Actor Erik Estrada was the key speaker at the Camarillo Moose Lodge event Saturday.

Actor Erik Estrada was the key speaker at the Camarillo Moose Lodge event Saturday.

“At first, these computers and working against these criminals was done in only big cities,” said Eddie Worth, director of development for Safe Surfin’. “Sheriff Brown was the first one who got it into smaller counties, and he developed Operation Blue Ridge Thunder, which became the leading Internet predator tracking task force in the country.”

Worth said funding was a constant concern, so Loyal Order of Moose Lodges offered to fund the program.

“We’ve been traveling all over the United States together to Moose lodges and other places,” Estrada said. “The FBI just released a statistic that says there’s a 100 percent chance that a child surfing the Internet will be stalked by some kind of predator. That’s a scary statistic.”

Estrada praised Moose lodges for stepping up to help law enforcement.

“They’ve funded these computers, and that’s a start,” he said. “The key to this is education, getting parents involved and teaching them what to look for when their kids are online.”

Estrada said that as a father, he feels there’s no more important concern than his children’s safety.

 Carlos Chavez/Special to the Star County Sheriff’s Explorers Alejandro Cortez (left) and Julio Espinosa carry a computer donated to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office by the Camarillo Moose lodge.


Carlos Chavez/Special to the Star
County Sheriff’s Explorers Alejandro Cortez (left) and Julio Espinosa carry a computer donated to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office by the Camarillo Moose lodge.

Worth said Safe Surfin’ goes after the problem in three ways: its “cop in a box” program; its educational Netsmartz program, which teaches kids and parents about safe Internet usage; and its identification program that fingerprints kids and loved ones, saving the information to disc for parents to keep.

Sheriff’s Commander Steve DeCesari said the local Moose lodge approached the sheriff’s staff in Camarillo about the computer.

Carlos Chavez/Special to the Star Sheriff’s Commander Steve DeCesari stands next to the donated computer system that will help keep kids safe when surfing the Internet.

Carlos Chavez/Special to the Star
Sheriff’s Commander Steve DeCesari stands next to the donated computer system that will help keep kids safe when surfing the Internet.

“Thousand Oaks has had an Internet predator program for some time, and we haven’t in Camarillo,” DeCesari said. “This is the second-largest city for which we have jurisdiction, so we felt it was a great idea. We’re pretty fortunate to be the recipient of this. We hope it helps prevent these crimes from happening.”

DeCesari said that so far, one officer has been assigned for training and use of the “cop in a box.” Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Bea Hughes, currently a youth services officer at the sheriff’s Camarillo station, will focus on Internet crimes.

“There really is a problem out there,” Hughes said. “This will help us see that and, in turn, help us teach parents what they can do. That’s job one.”

 

Update From Tazewell County, VA Sheriff’s Office On Benefits of Cop in a Box Program

Mr. Nolley,
I wanted to update you on what a benefit the Cop in a Box Computer has been to Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office. You donated us the computer in August, but we were not able to have the proper hidden Internet service installed in our office until September.  Since getting everything in place in the last two months we have been able to detect and open up 3 cases involving Internet Crime against children in Tazewell County, 2 cases in Smyth County, and we have 3 more cases currently being downloaded and monitored that will be in Tazewell County or a surrounding county. That means thanks to your concerned lodge, a total of 8 cases have been detected and opened up in that involved children who are being sexually exploited over the Internet in just over two months.
I also want to tell you that we have been able to use this system to do a lot more than just these exploitation cases. We have also used it to scan 7 computers and 4 cell phones. One of which was for a case with a runaway child. This week Detective Brown and Detective Stiltner are in training provided through the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and when they return they will be able to use this new computer to start conducting undercover chat investigations in an effort to catch adults who are trying to prey on children online and through chat rooms. On top of all this due to the large screen, graphics, and memory of this computer, we’ve also been using it when we get surveillance video in, as we are able to view it on a larger screen which has made a big difference.
Again, thank you for this generous gift. We appreciate all you are doing to help us and help the community.
Sincerely,
Brian Hieatt
Sheriff of Tazewell County

Click here to download the official PDF letter from Sheriff Hieatt.

 

 

Detectives get new tool to hunt online predators

Virginia firm donates computer tool that can trace criminals.

Online predators beware. That innocent 13-year-old girl or boy in a chat room might actually be a Lancaster County detective.

Local law-enforcement officers will soon go online as decoys, seeking to arrest sexual prowlers by employing sophisticated technology donated by the Virginia-based Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

“We have to track down these predators and put them behind bars,” said Randall E. Smith Jr., the foundation’s education director. “Once a child is victimized, they’re never the same.”

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman thanked the foundation at a morning press conference Friday.

The Cop in a Box technology is valued at $3,200, Smith said. Lancaster County was the second in the state to receive the donation.

The county commissioners also have agreed to hire an additional civilian computer analyst next July to help man the Computer Crime Unit’s new chat-room initiative.

To date, the computer task force’s focus has been online child pornography, Stedman said. Now investigators will have the technology to be effective online decoys.

Ephrata Detective Brad Ortenzi is the first member of the computer crime unit to undergo Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) training on targeting online child predators.

“We enter into a chat room posing as a young child,” he said. “Once we enter that chat room, we don’t solicit anything. We wait, and normally it doesn’t take long until (predators) come to us.”

Ortenzi said the technology allows investigators to obtain the suspect’s Internet protocol address almost immediately. The IP address is unique to each computer. Police can then seek a court order to obtain the name of the subscriber.

“That’s going to get us the person whose name is on the bill and the address,” Ortenzi said.

Stedman said an Internet user may break the law by sharing sexual materials with a minor, soliciting sex from a minor or taking steps to meet the minor for a sexual encounter.

If the suspect does not live in Lancaster County, detectives here will contact an ICAC-trained officer in the subscriber’s hometown to investigate the case.

Ortenzi said the special training he received was eye-opening. He said he and about 40 other trainees created profiles and entered a chat room. Within 20 minutes, Ortenzi said, half of the class was in conversation with men showing their genitals.

“That is not an exaggeration,” Ortenzi said. “We could have 20 detectives running this full time and still not combat the problem. It’s bad.”

Financial support for Cop in a Box came from the Pennsylvania Moose Association, Smith said.

By JEFF HAWKES
Staff Writer

 

Another Cop-In-A-Box Delivered!

NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va.—The city’s police department is getting on board with a national effort to combat Internet sex crimes against children.

Tuesday, only NEWS9 cameras were there as the New Martinsville Police Department accepted a new computer system donated by local Moose Lodge 931.

With that system, a new partnership is aiming to take down online sexual predators in the Ohio Valley.

Three boxes were on display in the New Martinsville city building contained a new computer system, designed to get more police officers online while many departments are seeing shrinking budgets and staff.

“We can’t wait to get started. We got to go to class and get trained on the program and how to use it,” said New Martinsville Police Chief Tim Cecil.

Tuesday’s presentation was made by the local donors, Moose Lodge 931.

“We do it because we believe in our children and we believe they should be protected. And there’s no worse crime, in my mind, than taking advantage of a small child,” said Richard Erlewine, administrator for Moose Lodge 931 in New Martinsville.

Moose International has recently partnered with safesurfin.org founded by Bedford County, VA. Sheriff, Mike Brown. He said officers need to stay on top of relentless online predators.

“It’s the most egregious, I think, crime that can be committed against a child. We’ve seen children as young as 6 months old being sexually violated,” said Brown.

The program, called Cop-in-a-Box, comes with hardware, software, monitor and printer plus a tested training course to get officers on board and online protecting our kids and theirs.

“I myself have four kids, three daughters and they’re big in to computers right now, so it’s going to be nice to get online and stop a lot of stuff that’s going on around here,” said Cecil.

The program cost $3,250, which was all raised by the lodge.

Cecil said he and his officers expect to get after these predators online soon, immediately following their completion of the training course.

 

Pennsylvania – Cop-n-a-box

CARLISLE, Cumberland County—

Law enforcement officials in Cumberland County announced Monday they’ll begin using a computer program called Cop-in-a-Box to speed up investigations of Internet sexual predators.

It’s the first time the program has been made available in Pennsylvania. Moose International chapters from across the Commonwealth raised money for the project.

“These cases are out there. The only thing that really holds us back are time and manpower and resources,” said Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed.

Freed said currently when officers investigate these cases, they frequently have to use multiple databases and different equipment. Cop-in-a-Box will conosolidate that into one place, helping to quicken the process.

“This is a tool that’ll make us faster, more efficient, and frankly better at our job,” said Freed.

Cop-in-a-Box provides new hardware and software as well as training to help police work more closely with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Ron Porter, director of reasearch for the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, was on hand for Monday’s presentation.

He said other law enforcement agencies across the country have found the program useful as they deal with shrinking resources and a pervasive problem of sexual predation.

“This was a case where there were more cases and investigations than there was hardware and software to support it, so we’re really happy to put this one here,” said Porter.

Though the technology will be housed in Carlisle, Freed said it will be made available to law enforcement agencies in the surrounding area when the need arises, which he says is more frequent than people may think.

Freed said, “Every time we go out there and look for it, we find cases.”

According to ICAC’s website, “In fiscal year 2008, ICAC investigations led to more than 3,108 arrests, over 14,339 forensic examinations, and the identification of over 1,000 real children who were victims of some form of abuse and neglect.”