WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to protect children, U.S. Senator Jack Reed announced that the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has awarded a $346,610 federal grant to the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children (RIICAC) Task Force.  The Rhode Island ICAC is a multi-agency group comprised of sworn federal, state and local law enforcement officials, local prosecution officials, local educators, private information technologists and mental health professionals.

This federal funding, which will be used under the administration of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety and the State Police, will help law enforcement and prosecutors develop effective responses to online enticement of children by sexual predators, child exploitation, and child obscenity and pornography cases.  The federal funds may be used to hire additional personnel to keep up with the demands of investigative and forensic analysis, continued specialized training in emerging investigative techniques, and updated forensic software and hardware, as well as continued targeted educational campaigns to local communities on Internet safety and online child victimization.

“This federal funding will help investigate and prevent internet crimes against children and crack down on predators.  As more children increasingly go online for education and entertainment, it’s important that we keep them safe and bring predators to justice,” said Senator Reed. “I am committed to protecting kids and this funding will strengthen the capacity and capabilities of the RIICAC Task Force and ensure it has the resources, staffing, and tools it needs to properly investigate and prosecute online predators.”

Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, helped make $35 million available for the ICAC grant program in fiscal year 2022.

Overall, OJJDP awarded $31.2 million nationwide under the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program to conduct forensic examinations and to investigate and prosecute technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation throughout the United States. And an additional $3.6 million was made available under the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force National Training Program to support training for state and local internet crimes against children task forces and affiliated federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in the areas of investigation, forensics, prosecution, community outreach, officer wellness and capacity building.