Home>State Assembly>Willoughby Secures Funding to Combat Internet Crimes Against Children

State Representative Julie Willoughby speaking on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, July 31, 2023. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Willoughby Secures Funding to Combat Internet Crimes Against Children

Program designed to solve crimes against vulnerable population

By Steve Kirwan, September 28, 2023 5:35 pm

Internet Crimes Against Children is a program of the US Department of Justice created in 1988 to combat Internet-based abuse of our most vulnerable population. Initially developed to combat online sexual predation with just ten organizations nationwide, the program currently boasts 61 coordinated Task Forces representing more than 3,000 Federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. The City of Chandler, AZ’s Police department is one of the latest to participate.

The program’s focus has expanded to include all phases of child cybercrime resolution: proactive, reactive, forensic, and prosecutorial. It also provides training in detection and investigation. However, the most significant challenge notwithstanding the crime itself is funding, a battle that Representative Julie Willoughby (R-13) fought head-on. In a press release issued today, the state rep announced that she had secured $2.25M in state budget allocations for the program, which will support cutting-edge technologies and enhanced investigative resources to bolster the City’s ongoing fight against cybercriminals.

She stated, “Backing those dedicated to upholding the safety and security of our community, and especially our children, is a cornerstone of my commitment as a state representative.” She continued, “This funding will equip the Chandler Police Department with advanced technology and resources dedicated to combatting Internet Crimes Against Children and other high-priority criminal cases, safeguarding our communities, and preserving the innocence of our youth. By investing in this critical area, we are taking a significant step forward in ensuring a safer Arizona for all.”

Since its inception, ICAC task forces have reviewed over 7 million reports of online child exploitation, with over 134,000 arrests.

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