In September 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice began a national Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force program to counter the emerging threat of offenders using the Internet or other online technology to sexually exploit children. The purpose of the program is to help state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. Under this program, regional ICAC task forces serve as sources of prevention, education and investigative expertise to provide assistance to parents, teachers, law enforcement and other professionals working on child victimization issues. ICAC Task Forces are funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Minnesota Establishes an ICAC Task Force
The Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (MICAC) is one of 61 task forces in the United States that work to provide timely and integrated responses to Internet-related issues that might involve the exploitation of children. The St. Paul Police Department / MICAC received its initial funding in June of 2000. In 2010, the St. Paul Police Department formally declined to pursue continued ICAC grant funding.
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Takes the Reins
In August 2010, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) was awarded as the grantee for the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The BCA has been a partner with the MICAC Task Force since 2006, and provides support to over 80 affiliate agencies and other non-affiliate agencies. The BCA is a statewide law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction throughout Minnesota. Minnesota currently has approximately 5.5 million residents and over 450 law enforcement agencies.
The MICAC Task Force’s purpose is to identify, investigate, apprehend, and prosecute predatory offenders who use the internet as a means to target and victimize children for sexual purposes.