ASHLAND Kentucky State Police Post 14 pursued 27 charges total in 2018 involving internet sex crimes against a minor.
Trooper Bobby King, of KSP Post 14, said that parents talking to their children about online predators and educating them on the risks is key to protecting children from potential sex crimes.
“It’s very important that we educate,” King said.
King said that educating young children are critical, as they are exposed to technology and curious to learn more.
“You have to break it down to their level,” said King. “Break it down and tell them there are bad guys, and you have to be careful what you search so those bad guys don’t get their information.”
King said that the talk a parent would have with a child versus the talk they’ll have with their teenager will look different.
“I’d encourage parents to pay attention to current news,” said King. “You’ll see people charged daily, weekly, monthly and just listen to what’s going on around schools. It doesn’t even have to be an adult doing this, it could be another child. Pay attention to media. Pay attention to social media. Educate.”
King said that parents could do a quick Google search to find different topics and softwares to monitor their child’s social media accounts.
“There are programs to monitor and secure,” said King.
The Kentucky State Police has a branch called Electronic Crimes Branch that investigates these online crimes.
“They are constantly reviewing information,” King said. “Once they get information, they bring it back to our post, and say this person has this going on, and we obtain a search warrant then go arrest that person.”
King said that KSP goes to schools and resource centers to assist in teaching an electronics education program to help parents and grandparents learn more about monitoring their child’s social media and protecting them against online predators. Call KSP Post 14 at (606) 928-6421 for more information on this program.
“You can take a photo off a phone and drop it into a program that shows where the photo was taken, its longitude and latitude, the time it was taken; you can find out so much through that, where a kid goes to school and even where their bedroom is in the house,” King said.
King said that, though technology has given predators easier access to victims, it’s also given police easier access to locating the predators.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said King.
King said that the biggest way to protect children is to take an active role in their life.