New Computer To Help State Police Check Internet Predators

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With six kids, Jennifer Glenn of Dimondale has plenty to worry about and with most of them old enough to use a computer, she knows there is a chance they could be contacted by a stranger online.

That has already happened to her 15-year-old, Jordan.

People chatting with me on Facebook an Yahoo...I have no idea who they are," said Jordan Glenn. "You just want to be careful."

In many cases, those strangers can be sexual predators looking to meet up with unsuspecting children. In fact, they often frequent the same websites as children.

It is the job of the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to go after those predators. On Tuesday, the Michigan Moose Association, in partnership with the Safe Surfin' Foundation, presented the Task Force with what is called a "Cop-in-a-Box".

"Cop-in-a-Box" is high-tech computer equipment designed by the U.S. Department of Justice to help detectives investigate child exploitation crimes.

"What these devices do is they actually uncover forensic evidence from suspect media," said Sgt. Jay Poupard, a member of the ICAC Task Force. "If we were to seize a suspect's cell phone or computer, then we conduct forensics on those devices."

Police will then take the storage device and plug it into the back of the computer tower and make a copy of its contents.

Detective Chris Prevette, who works on a lot of child exploitation cases, says this hardware will help speed up investigations.

"We'll be able to do two cases in the time it used to take us to do one," said Prevette.

Jennifer Glenn is all police seizing electronic storage devices if it means protecting children from predators.

"If you've crossed that line and become a sexual predator, then you've lost the privilege and the right to have that privacy for yourself," said Glenn.

According to the FBI, there are more than 40,000 chat rooms and that are frequented by sexual predators and there is a 100 percent chance a child will meet one of those predators if they enter a chat room.

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