Warren County Forms Task Force To Combat Sexual Predators

(LEBANON, OH) -- Law enforcement departments around the Tri-state have been putting more resources into fighting Internet predators and Internet crimes. Now one local county's commissioners have backed up the efforts with dollars.

FOX19'S Corey McConnell has the story.

Warren County commissioners have now allocated nearly $30,000 to a cyber crimes task force to help keep kids in Warren County safe.

Hamilton Township police lieutenant Jeff Braley spends a lot of time in chat rooms. In fact, he's got more than a hundred investigations into sexual predators going on right now.

"You'll be on for less than a minute before they start asking your age and sexual experience," he said.

Braley says statistics show that one in five children will be sexually solicited online and he knows first hand what lengths predators will go to meet a child.

"They're willing to travel to meet a child for sex and they're willing to travel to Warren County. We want people to know there's a good chance they're going to jail," Braley said.

Braley will head up the new Cyber Crimes Task Force in Warren County. All of the county's law enforcement agencies, the commissioners and Warren County prosecutor Rachel Hutzel will work together to catch people like this.

By forming a task force, Warren County hopes to be able to lower the number of kids who become victims and the prosecutor hopes it will send a clear message to predators -- that Warren County is serious about protecting it's kids.

The money allocated by commissioners will fund new equipment for the departments and also help pay for overtime accrued while tracking these predators. They're also hoping to use the new technology to fight identity theft, auction fraud and child pornography.