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Cyber crime office ready to catch predators

Cyber crime office will Make the job easier

Last week, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum opened a new cyber crime office in Tampa, swearing in nine local law enforcement officers to help his office identify, arrest and prosecute sexual predators who use the Internet to prey on children.

One of the nine selected to join this effort was Detective David Wawrzynski, an investigator in our Crimes Against Children Unit. He routinely investigates sexual and physical abuse of children, cyber-stalking and possession of child pornography. His excellent work in several cases recently earned him the employee of the quarter award.

These types of crimes are difficult to investigate because many of them are reported late and lack physical evidence. Child abuse detectives must build a good rapport with young victims to gain their trust, yet remain detached enough to view all the evidence clearly and objectively before presenting the case for prosecution.

Our new partnership with the Florida Attorney General's Office in Tampa provides us with quicker access to more resources necessary for successful prosecution. Wawrzynski's legal authority is also expanded statewide, an important point because many Internet crimes transcend jurisdictional boundaries.

Nearly every home has a computer today and millions of teenagers have created profiles on sites like MySpace or Facebook. They also use chat rooms and because teens are curious and eager for attention and affection they are vulnerable to online predators.

Parents can help protect their teens by carefully monitoring all of their online activities.

William Proffitt, St. Petersburg police spokesman

Cyber crime office ready to catch predators 07/12/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 14, 2008 12:40pm]
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