Cop in a Box Fights Online Sexual Predators
Reporter: Carleigh Griffeth
Lynchburg, VA- It's a new approach to fighting a growing crime. There are so many Internet sex predators out there, and so few trained investigators to stop them.
Wednesday, Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown talked about a new project to help even the odds. He calls it "Cop in a Box."
It includes hardware, software, and a computer monitor, along with training material provided by the U.S. Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Sheriff Brown says they need all the officers they can get to help fight a crime that's growing.
"It's been a problem. It's becoming a bigger problem. The Internet is one of the greatest communication mediums we'll ever see, in my lifetime especially. But it's got a dark side to it, and it's getting darker," said Sheriff Brown.
Campbell County Sheriff Steve Hutcherson knows all about this. Because of budget cuts, his department was limited in its ability to fight Internet predators. That's until the Ladies of The Moose decided to team up with the Safe Surfin' Foundation to completely back the Cop in a Box program.
"I was taken back when Lieutenant came to me and said hey, guess what? Ladies of the Moose want to do something to help us. And uh, it's perfect timing," said Sheriff Hutcherson.
Sheriff Brown says Cop in a Box is helping to improve the ratio of online cops, versus online sexual predators. He hopes it allows officials to take a more aggressive approach to protecting children from online dangers.