The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department will act as a satellite agency for the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The Crow Wing County Board approved the multi-agency law enforcement agreement with the St. Paul Police Department Tuesday.
Crow Wing County Sheriff's investigator Sgt. Dave Larson said by being a satellite agency that the sheriff's department would receive about $15,000 for equipment and training expenses. He said the St. Paul Police Department received a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in Washington.
The task force is intended to investigate crimes committed against children and the criminal exploitation of children that is committed and facilitated through the use of computers. Larson said this type of crime is increasing in the county.
The sheriff's department is also looking at entering into similar contracts with the Brainerd and Baxter police departments to increase participation in the area that would assist in establishing a viable satellite task force. Larson said.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers the following rules for online safety: Children should never give out or send personal information, such as photos, their address, phone numbers or the location of their school without a parent's permission; if a child comes across or is sent information online that makes them feel uncomfortable to tell their parents or teachers and to not respond to the message; and to never agree to get together with someone they met online without their parent's consent or prior knowledge.
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