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.”