I’ve brought up the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces across the country before. In fact I have a whole page about them on the blog under the title of ‘Police’.
I’d like to start by saying this task force was created for very serious and specific reasons:
1. there is a huge pandemic in the world of trafficking for sexual exploitation. If those who do this trafficking aren’t disgusting enough, throw in that a great percentage of those exploited are children. Little girls and boys who have no one of moral character watching out for them. I think I could honestly say I would give a limb to save even one of those children. Those of you who know me are shaking your head up and down thinking ‘yup, she probably would!’. But I will not give my son.
2. There are local, everyday people who exploit children, even their own. Offering them for money, drugs, privilege; or who sexually abuse them in their own home. Child pornography, community pedophiles, stranger danger, incest….. This is not new, but the police formed this task force to specifically follow leads sent in. The police can trap these criminals based on the information collected after receiving a tip. These are called ‘reactive stings‘.
These task forces across the country were created out of the following legislature.
Protecting Children from Pornography and Internet Exploitation Act of 2008
This was much needed policing, and has caught MANY criminals through their investigations. We all applaud and thank these efforts.
But unfortunately this Act came with federal funding at a discretionary level. The legislature “Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to state and local ICAC task forces.” The awarding of grants, over the years, became tied to arrests and convictions.
Remember the uproar when teachers raises were tied to their students standardized test performance? And when school funding was tied to the grade the school received for the year from the Department of Education? I’m not sure if this is federal, but it sure made waves in Florida where we lived, and schooled, at that time.
What did the schools start doing after these new benchmarks were put in place? You can say it out load, we all know what happened… The teachers started focusing their teaching on the test taking itself! Better performance on the FCAT, more money. Better grades for the Florida DOE, more school funding.
So lets apply this to a similar incentive offered to police. Starting to see a pattern?
When arrests are low for a given states task force they can create a ‘proactive sting’. This is supposed to catch people online who are looking for children to prey on. These are the facts in the sting that Jace was entrapped in…
- Post an ad in craigslist ‘casual encounters’.
- Casual encounters is explicitly for 18+. Why would you look in an 18+ website for pedophiles? In fact one of the ICAC rules is “Law Enforcement Officers Shall not use and are Prohibited from using Online Dating Websites for Consenting Adults”, and “Law Enforcement Officers Shall not use and are Prohibited from using Online Instant Messaging Chatrooms for Consenting Adults.” But they do. Why do you think?
- Create the ad with no indication that the person placing the ad is a minor.
- If you are looking for pedophiles, wouldn’t you say age in the ad??? Why do you think they don’t?
- When asked for a picture, the police officer sent a picture of a 24 year old woman.
- Even though their rules state: “ the depictions themselves may be of that Employee under the age of 18″. If they can send a picture of a police officer when they were young, and are looking for actual pedophiles, why do you think they would send out a picture of a 24 year old?
- When emailing/texting with a potential suspect, the police are supposed to be looking for pedophiles, not wasting time on law abiding citizens.
- So why would they continue to chat for over an hour, with someone who states they do not believe the police officer is a little girl? As Jace did.
- When attempting to close the arrest, why would the police have the person in the photo, a then 26 year old (2 years since picture) step out of the house to great that person? Making it so that the ‘pedophile’ sees and enters with a consenting adult, as in Jace arrest scenario. What could that gain them?
Why do you think????