Cornyn, Blumenthal Bill to Reauthorize Task Force Combatting Child Exploitation Signed Into Law
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statements after the PROTECT Our Children Act, which will reauthorize the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program to combat child exploitation across the country, was signed into law:
“Supporting investigations of child exploitation is the first step in bringing the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I’m grateful to see this bill signed into law so we can continue providing law enforcement with the necessary tools to counter cyber-crimes against children.”
“This significant measure very simply helps stop the scourge of child exploitation,” said Sen. Blumenthal. “Supporting and equipping law enforcement with the tools to prevent and investigate these crimes is critical to holding predators accountable. I’m proud to have led the PROTECT Our Children Act with Senator Cornyn and applaud President Biden for signing this important measure into law.”
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) also cosponsored this legislation. Companion legislation in the House was led by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Steve Chabot (OH-1), Ann Kuster (NH-2), and Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14).
The PROTECT Our Children Act, originally passed in 2008, authorized the ICAC Task Force Program, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces that represent 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies engaged in reactive and proactive investigations across the country. The ICAC aids local and state law enforcement in the creation and implementation of effective responses to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and internet crimes against children. In order to develop effective response strategies to online child victimization, the ICAC offers guidance on victim support, forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, and prevention and community education.
The PROTECT Our Children Act is supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), Rights 4 Girls, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), the Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD, Raven, the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA).
For a list of ICAC task forces across the United States, click here.