MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul today recognized the hard work being done by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, in honor of Safer Internet Day. The Wisconsin ICAC Task Force began in 1999 and is a collaborative effort with local law enforcement led by DOJ personnel.
“The Wisconsin ICAC Task Force works tirelessly to fight internet crimes against children,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “From informing the public about safe internet practices to bringing offenders to justice, the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force is helping keep kids in Wisconsin safe.”
The ICAC Task Force investigated 4,534 CyberTips and made 468 arrests in 2021. CyberTips have steadily increased over the past eight years, with an increase of over 400% since 2013. The new ICAC Victim Services program provided services to 136 victims and families impacted by online child exploitation of children in 2021, 49 of those were children.
The task force produces an educational podcast called Protect Kids Online (PKO). It serves as a resource for parents, grandparents, guardians, or caregivers of children to learn about tips for combating online child exploitation and sextortion, internet safety laws, cyberbullying, protecting your child from strangers online, safe sharing tips and more. During 2021, the PKO podcast was downloaded over 7,500 times. PKO podcast episodes can be found here: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/
The ICAC Task Force offers a variety of services including, investigation and prosecution of offenders of internet crime, investigative and prosecutorial assistance for police agencies and prosecutors, victim services, training for law enforcement officers and prosecutors, and coordination of internet safety education for parents, teachers and community members. The task force includes 303 affiliate agencies in Wisconsin and provided prevention education to over 10,000 people in both 2020 and 2021.
If you or someone you know has information on potential child exploitation you can report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children online at https://report.cybertip.org/ or by calling 1-800-843-5678. Visit the ICAC Task Force page for internet safety tips for parents and caregivers at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/