EAGAN, Minn. –- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s High Technology Investigations Unit (HTIU) began a two-prong initiative in 2009 to address child pornography and pedophiles. It included educational presentations to more than 35,000 students, teachers and parents; specialized certification of more than 600 investigators; and a statewide investigation that netted 67 arrests. For its innovative approach, HTIU has received the 2010 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations. The award is sponsored by Thomson Reuters, whose Risk, Fraud & Investigations solutions include CLEAR, a powerful public and proprietary records platform that helps thousands of law enforcement and government agencies find information on people and businesses.
“The HTIU’s broad, far-reaching initiative addressed several aspects of the child pornography problem, including public education, law enforcement training and investigations,” said Chief Michael Carroll, IACP president. “Their approach involved numerous law enforcement agencies and other resources both nationwide and in Georgia in a coordinated, effective effort. IACP is proud to recognize the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s HTIU for its outstanding achievements in advancing investigative work.”
“The Georgia Cybersafety Initiative” involved HTIU’s creation of a collaborative group including Georgia Public Broadcasting, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Georgia Dept. of Education and DeKalb County School System to develop age-appropriate Internet Safety presentations for students, teachers and parents. “Operation Restore Hope” was a targeted effort to identify, locate and arrest individuals dealing in child pornography. HTIU provided Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) training to more than 600 investigators in 110 Georgia police agencies. In January 2010, those agencies together with HTIU began a statewide investigation that resulted in the largest number of arrests for child pornography in Georgia law enforcement history.
“The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s HTIU applied an innovative, multi-faceted approach to tackle a complex problem,” said Steve Rubley, vice president and general manager, Risk, Fraud & Investigations, Thomson Reuters, Legal. “Their leadership on the issue of child pornography is a prime example of how law enforcement agencies and other community stakeholders can work together to make their communities safer. The Thomson Reuters Risk, Fraud & Investigations business is proud to join with the IACP to sponsor an award that recognizes innovation and excellence in criminal investigations, and showcases best practices that can be modeled by other law enforcement agencies.”
The first runner-up, the Miami Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Agency Group 10, was recognized for cultivating large numbers of confidential sources throughout Europe, South America and the Middle East, and managing cases together with law enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide. Results included not only arrests and seizure of drugs and money, but dismantling of entire drug organizations. Group 10 is made up of agents of the DEA’s Miami Division and detectives with the North Miami Beach Police Department.
The second runner-up, the Miramar (California) Police Department Criminal Investigative Division, was recognized for its handling of a routine check on the welfare of a person that evolved into a missing-person case and, eventually, a murder investigation. An array of investigative techniques were employed, including review of cell tower records, surveillance, trace DNA sampling and court-ordered cloning of the missing person’s cell phone, leading to an arrest and recovery of the victim’s body.
The IACP Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations is given to a law enforcement agency, law enforcement unit, task force or inter-agency task force in recognition of exceptional innovation and excellence in the area of criminal investigations. Judging focuses on contributions to the advancement of the art or science of criminal investigations, and innovations in the development or enhancement of investigative techniques. Learn more at www.theiacp.org.