Launched in November 2011, the Child Sexual Predator Project is an initiative of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office which seeks to protect children from sexual predators by:
- establishing and maintaining a computer forensics laboratory within the district to examine digital media for evidence of child pornography and other predatory behaviors;
- ensuring that sex offenders comply with conditions of probation, parole and registration by assisting with rigorous oversight of such offenders;
- aggressively prosecuting sex offenders who fail to comply with registration requirements or who violate conditions of probation/parole, who create, distribute or possess child pornography, and/or who target child victims through the Internet;
- training local law enforcement officers in the latest techniques for detecting child pornography on computers, cell phones and other digital media;
- providing Internet safety training in the community for children, parents and professionals who work with children.
The Child Sexual Predator Task Force is a collaboration of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office; the United States Attorney's Office; federal, state and local law enforcement officers who are specially trained to investigate Internet crimes against children; parole and probation officers who supervise convicted sex offenders; the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Squad; and the United States Marshall's Service, who help locate and apprehend high-risk offenders.
The Child Sexual Predator Project can help local law enforcement by:
- assisting in the drafting of search warrant applications for computers and other digital media;
- conducting examinations of cell phones, either pursuant to search warrants or consent by the owner;
- assisting with applications for complaint or warrant for sex offenders within a jurisdiction who are out of compliance with SORB requirements;
- assisting with locating and apprehending sex offenders who are out of compliance and who are the subject of arrest warrants;
- training local law enforcement officers in correct protocols for preservation of evidence when the "crime scene" consists of digital media;
- forwarding information to local law enforcement concerning sex offenders in the jurisdiction, when information is received via text-a-tip.
News Reports about the Project
- Springfield Republican article entitled "Child Sexual Predator Project...monitors sex offenders in Hampshire and Franklin counties"
- Daily Hampshire Gazette article on June 2013 cell phone training