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Grants for Child Protection on the Net in Missouri

Under the Internet Cyber Crime Grant Program, Governor Matt Blunt announced that the program would provide $242,000 to facilitate law enforcement for the purpose of investigating online crimes, including those that impose danger on children of Missouri.

Elaborating on the functions of the grants, Blunt said they would equip law enforcement officials with tools and resources required to protect children from online predators, child pornography and child exploitation. This would help to make the Internet safe and secured for children of Missouri.

Blunt signed legislation that is tough on sex offense in Missouri. He played the lead role in implementing Missouri's interpretation of Jessica's law, which represents some of the most powerful sex offender laws in the country. One part of the law authorizes the Department of Public Safety to give shape to the Internet Cyber Crime Grant Program to enable law enforcement officials to effectively investigate intolerable cyber crimes especially those relating to sex and its use in exploiting children.

A portion of the funds from the Program is allotted to furnish salaries of detectives and training expenses for computer forensic staff. This system addresses prevention and control of Internet crime with the goal to improve public safety.

Eric Zahnd - Prosecutor of Platte County - and Richard Anderson - Sheriff of Platte County - made a presentation about Cyber Crime Unit of the county as well as on the construction of Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force. The legislature needs to create robust penalties for children pornography recalling that distributors and producers of child-porn are today liable for probation, Zahnd pointed. Anderson said one child in every batch of four had exposure to porn photographs on the Net. Glendale Police Sergeant Joe Laramie & St. Charles County Sheriff's Lieutenant Chris Mateja gave Blunt a report on the stretch of the issue in Missouri's rural and urban areas.

Anderson noted that cyber crimes were grossly under-reported and this would have continued but for the assistance given to catch more criminals. At present, the budget of the grants to the Task Force of Multi-jurisdictional Internet Cyber Crimes is $250,000. But Blunt said he'd like to raise that amount.

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