Veterans to Train in Bedford County to Fight Online Predators

Bedford Co., VA – A group of wounded veterans is coming to our area next week, where they will train to protect children from online predators.

The Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force will host the HERO (Human Exploitation Rescue Operative) Child Rescue Corps. The fourth class in the program will train for a month at the task force’s Bedford County headquarters. A recently installed elevator will allow the veterans to access the forensic lab and classrooms.

The 2013 federal sequestration threatened to end the program before it even started. That’s when Sheriff Mike Brown’s Safe Surfin’ Foundation and Moose International bought the laptops that kept the program going. Sheriff Brown traveled to Oak Ridge, Tennessee that summer to meet with the inaugural class.

Local Vietnam veteran and advocate Steve Bozeman will be one of the speakers at a welcome event for the program participants Monday.

“They can get a job, working with some agencies and help solve some of these problems,” said Steve Bozeman. “These bad guys, take them off the street just like they did taking them off the streets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Get rid of ’em.”

The veterans will be presented with keys to Bedford County and with lifetime memberships to the local Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter.

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Women of the Moose Outfit K-9s in Dayton, Ohio with Ballistic Vests!

Dayton, Ohio K-9 Officers are working the beat much safer today thanks to the generosity of Women of the Moose, Dayton Chapter #9, the Dayton Lodge #73, Moose Legion Committee and some local businesses throughout the Dayton area.

The coordinator behind this project is Women of the Moose member, Anita Farish of Dayton.

Anita was happy to see that all the human officers had ballistic protection, but their K-9 counterparts did not. So, she set out on a fundraising mission to get these four-legged officers the protection they need and deserve:  K-9s Zeta, Thor, Baron, Phantom and Raika, all valued members of the Dayton Police Department.

Anita arranged for a presentation ceremony at the Lodge so everyone could meet the recipients of these life saving vests. The local media was also invited to cover the event.

Safe Surfin’ salutes our law enforcement, two legs and four, and we also wish to thank Anita Farish for her hard work and dedication to the protection of these K-9 officers!

Thanks Safe Surfin’ Foundation and Moose International!


When it comes to the heroes behind the H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps, at the head of the line are Mike Brown, Sheriff of Bedford County, Virginia and the dedicated members of Moose International. In 2013, Sheriff Brown’s Safe Surfin’ Foundation rounded up the Moose to make an incredibly generous donation of high-performance laptops to the HERO Corps, giving our program participants the weapons they need to hunt and catch predators and protect children. This year, Sheriff Brown, the Safe Surfin’ Foundation and the Moose are back again! They were with us on our first day, presenting the third HERO class with 24 field laptops and screens for their lab work. PROTECT and the HEROs could not be more grateful. We’ll have much more on the Sheriff and Moose International in the coming weeks.

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ICAC Installing Elevator to Host Wounded Warrior Training

Bedford Co., VA – A program that gives our wounded veterans a new career protecting our children is getting a lift, literally. The Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is putting in an elevator at its office in Bedford County.

Much of the office is already ADA compliant, but if the task force wants to host H.E.R.O. Child Rescue Corps, they need to make sure those heroes can access every part of the building.

Investigators have been doing the demolition and construction work themselves, under the supervision of general contractor Tommy Scott. That work passed inspection Friday morning, clearing the way for the concrete footer to be poured. Two wheelchairs will be able to fit inside the lift.

The work is being done so our local task force can host training classes of warriors, like one going on in Washington D.C. right now. The next class is tentatively set for October.

Sheriff Mike Brown would like for Bedford County to be a permanent training location for the warriors and hopes to hire some of the veterans when positions are available on our local task force.

Several local businesses either donated labor and materials or offered them at a reduced cost for the elevator project. Those businesses are:

Lynchburg Ready Mix

Tommy Dawson Electrical

Taylor Brothers Lumber

Pearson Equipment

Romar Elevators

Magic City Sprinkler

Eastbrook Heating and Air

Bays Trash Removal

The sheriff’s office is hoping local businesses will donate meals and other items for the warriors to enjoy during their 12-week training. If you’re interested in donating call (540)586-4800 and ask for Robin Sundquist.

Original Link: WSET.COM

Forest Man Arrested on Charges Related to the Possession of Child Pornography

sova-icac logoApril 10, 2015
Bedford, VA

On April 7, 2015, Cameron Boyd, of Forest, VA, was arrested on charges related to the possession of child pornography.

In 2013 Cameron Boyd became a person of interest to the SOVA-ICAC when a Detective from Lynchburg Police Department downloaded child pornography from a suspect believed to be within the city of Lynchburg. Further investigation led to the discovery that the suspect lived in Bedford County, at which point the case was referred to the Bedford Sheriff’s Office.

In 2014, investigators from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office’s assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Unit, executed a search warrant at the residence of Boyd, 27, of Forest, Virginia, seeking evidence related to the internet activity involving the possession of child pornography. Numerous pieces of evidence were collected, including laptop computers, and digital storage media, which were submitted for forensic analysis. Upon completion of the analysis, the case was presented to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for review, and Boyd was subsequently indicted by a grand jury on April 3, 2015.

Lynchburg Police Department is an affiliate agency with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which has been administered by the Bedford Sheriff’s Office since the task force program was created in 1998, through a federal grant.

Download the PDF Press Release

Training to Spot Cyberbullying Available to Parents and Educators

Richmond, VA – A new training program designed to teach adults how to know if a child is being cyberbullied was unveiled today by Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown at the Virginia State Capitol.

Brown got the idea for “Cyberbullying: Our Children, Our Problem” after reading about the suicide of a 12-year-old Florida girl.

The program is a partnership between the Safe Surfin’ foundation and the National White Collar Crime Center.

Tammy Garcia flew overnight from California to be there for the announcement. Garcia’s son Michael committed suicide in 2011.

“He was an athlete in school. He was beautiful. He was a bodybuilder and had so much going for him. He was the captain of the football team. He was getting straight A’s” said Tammy Garcia. “So for something like this to come to the point of suicide, it was shocking for our family.”

The online training is geared toward both parents and educators. It takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. Click here for a link to the training.

Tennessee Moose Association Donates 11 Ballistic Vests to Bradley County Sheriff’s Office


The Loyal Order of the Moose, a storied philanthropic fraternal organization, has made a resurgence in Bradley County, having fronted funds for and sized 11 Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputies for new ballistic vests.

Tuesday, the Tennessee Moose Association presented the BCSO with the first, custom-made vest for deputy Paul Allen.

“This is a really great day,” Director of Research at the Safe Surfin’ Foundation and active Moose member Ron Porter said. “You have a Sheriff here who is unique and determined, and it was my pleasure to meet him.”

The Order of the Moose, along with the umbrella group Safe Surfin’ Foundation, recognized a need voiced by Sheriff Eric Watson during the annual National Sheriff’s Association convention last summer.

Porter said his organization and the Order of the Moose were able to meet that need.

“We were at the convention in Fort Worth, Texas,” Porter began, “when we heard Sheriff Watson speak on some of his concerns, namely deputies being properly outfitted for duty.”

Porter and Secretary of the Tennessee Moose Association Jim Leitnaker approached Watson with a solution.

“The Safe Surfin’ Foundation, funded by the Moose, hosts a number of unique programs,” Porter explained.

“We do Internet safety, distribute educational materials, provide software and hardware to law enforcement, and … ballistic vests to departments that need them.”

“I was contacted by the BCSO’s Director of Support Services Richard McAllister. We made the determination that this department met the criteria to apply for the vests,” Porter said. “There wasn’t going to be any support for the purchasing of vests from the state or from the county budget.”

“So, we took Watson’s concern before the Tennessee Moose Association, and Jim (Leitnaker) was successful in having them agree to funding the purchase of 11 ballistic vests for the BCSO,” Porter told.

“These vests aren’t the typical; they are tailor-made to fit the deputy,” Porter said.

Porter noted the vests are designed to have the strength and durability to repel certain attacks.

“These vests we present today are a level 3A vests, and are a substantial enough deterrent to save an officer’s life,” Porter explained.

“Additionally, the Kevlar they are constructed from was produced at the Richmond, Va., DuPont plant – American made,” Porter said as he held the vest up. “This is what will save lives.”

President of the Tennessee Moose Association Terry Clarke said, “It is out privilege and honor to present this department with these vests. May you wear them in good health.”

Watson, along with Deputy Allen and County Commissioner Jeff Yarber, took time to share their appreciation.

“Thank you.,” Watson said. “Thank you for what you’ve done here. A few months ago, we realized that 26 officers were working without vests. Today you have really helped us by providing 11 — an investment close to $11,000.”

The Sheriff said the issue of personal protective equipment was an “important topic” for him and BCSO staff.

“It is a proven fact these vests do save lives,” he said.

Deputy Allen, the recipient of the first Moose-donated vest, with his two daughters, personally thanked the Tennessee Moose Association and the Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

“This is the vest that I’ll be wearing everyday. Personally, this is tremendous and greatly appreciated,” Allen said.

Allen explained that most vests, including the ones the BCSO utilizes, have a five-year lifespan. His vest had reached its retirement age.

“I realize that this vest has greatly increased the chances of surviving some type of major incident, and could bring me home someday.”

“I want to thank you for what you’ve done today,” Chairman of the Law Enforcement Committee and County Commissioner Yarber.

“I also thank our Sheriff, who came in here and found a way to help the county and the BCSO save money. He’s innovative. He’s went out and found ways to help support his staff.”

Yarber said, “It’s very easy to be a supporter when you have a Sheriff like this, and it’s very easy to be a supporter when you have individuals and organizations like yourself who come in and see needs, filling gaps that maybe our budget constraints cause us to not have the ability to fill.”

The Tennessee Moose Association lacks a physical presence in Bradley County, but recent efforts with the BCSO are but a precursor to future aspirations.

Clarke, president of the Tennessee Moose Association, in the presentation alluded to an effort to establish a Moose Lodge in the Cleveland area.

“Thank you for the opportunity today,” Clarke said. “We hope that this teaches you more about the Moose, and we’re trying to establish ourselves here in this county. We look forward to working for this community, one that we hope to be a priceless part of in the near future.”

“There are 21 Moose lodges in the state of Tennessee, but there hasn’t been one in southeast Tennessee or Bradley County since the 1980s,” Leitnaker explained in an earlier interview. “For 25 years now, the Order of the Moose has been out servicing the community, and no one has known about it.”

Porter said the process for the Moose to make a comeback in Bradley County has already begun.

“There are nearly 100 Moose members here in the area who are still paying dues, but have no lodge,” Porter expressed. “They want a local lodge, so Jim (Leitnaker) petitioned the International Moose Association, and they activated the process which allows for him to form a team that will go out and examine the possibility of establishing a Moose Service Center here in Cleveland.”

Leitnaker and Porter explained the Loyal Order of the Moose has a lot to give in regards to community service.

In addition to the many philanthropies the Moose organization undertakes, it brings with it a host of partnership groups like the Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

“Our directive is to support the children and the aged in our community,” Leitnaker affirmed. “The Moose International supports the Special Olympics, ‘Mooseheart’ children’s home, the ‘Moosehaven’ senior community, the Safe Surfin’ Foundation … there are a lot of things the Order of the Moose could do in southeast Tennessee if we had a physical presence here,” Porter stated.

“Our first effort in the area was to raise these funds to equip the deputies with vests,” told Porter. “We really want to make an effort to show this community the Moose is here to serve in its fullest capacity.”

One of the Order of the Moose’s most prominent community service programs is Porter’s Safe Surfin’ Foundation — a group that, primarily, provides digital identification kits for children.

“We’d like to bring our identification drive to Bradley County,” Porter conveyed. “We’ve run these ID campaigns all over the nation, and it has been wonderful.”

Porter said the ID process takes digital fingerprints and essential physical information of the children. Then, the information is stored onto a compact disc, making it easier for law enforcement to recognize a child in the event of abduction.

The Safe Surfin’ Foundation is run by former and active law enforcement personnel, and under this leadership the organization has initiated the “Protect the Protector” drive.

“These police officers get attacked every day,” Porter lamented. “Every 53 hours, a man or woman in the service of their community gets killed in the line of duty.”

“We’re wanting to demonstrate to Bradley County that the Loyal Order of the Moose is here to help. We have a variety of groups and programs we could employ in the area, but without a physical presence, we’re limited logistically,” Leitnaker stated.

“There are droves of Moose members in Cleveland, Ooltewah, Reliance and McDonald who are active and want to support their community.”


Article from: Cleveland Daily Banner

Leaders of Bedford County Sheriff’s Department honor fallen New York officer

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BEDFORD COUNTY (WSLS) – Members of local law enforcement are back home after a quick trip to Brooklyn, New York.

Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown and Major Ricky Gardner traveled north to show support for an officer taken too soon.

NYPD Officer Wenjian Liu was shot alongside his partner Rafael Ramos as the two sat in their marked patrol car.

We sat down with the sheriff about what this trip meant to the long serving leader.

“It was a very humbling experience and I’ve been to law enforcement officers, deputy’s funerals, trooper’s funerals, federal agent’s funerals and it’s always a sad feeling, a feeling of loss, we are a family, we are a big family,” Sheriff Brown.

Thousands joined Brown and Gardner in honoring the fallen police officer Sunday.

While many officers in New York say they feel a lack of support from government leaders, namely Mayor Bill de Blasio following the recent officer involved shootings, they say they’ll continue working to keep their city safe.

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