Task Force Targets Internet Crime
"Every place that kids go, we go," Detective Andy Anderson said. Anderson has been a detective for almost twenty years, and in January he became the coordinator of the new task force.
On Friday, Anderson met Laramie, the man they say they've been talking to online for the past few months.
"He actually traveled from the St. Louis area here to Columbia to meet the girl for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact," Anderson said. "When he arrived at where he believed her to be living, he was arrested by detectives with the Internet crimes task force."
Anderson's team members focus on Internet crimes against children like enticement and pornography. They also train other officers how to deal with on-line cases.
"This year the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force has made three arrests, as well as assisted in twelve other computer crime cases in Boone county and other surrounding counties," Anderson said.
While the task force does its work, members say parents can work at home against these crimes.
"As a parent and as a police officer, I think it's our duty to educate our children to ensure that they are safe when using this great source we call the Internet," task force member Mike Lederle said.
Anderson hopes the task force will continue to grow so he can continue protecting children in the area. The task force members say some ways parents can help protect their children is to let their kids know they care about them, monitor their Internet use, and call the police if suspicious of Internet crime.