BETHESDA — The Sexual Predator Internet Initiative (SPII) Task Force announced Thursday that a high-tech data transfer device will be added to the Task Force’s equipment, thanks to a contribution by communications leader, AT&T®. The data transfer device is hardware commonly used by wireless retailers to serve their in-store customers, performing transfers of saved contact information, photos and other data from a customer’s old wireless phone or other device to their newly-purchased device. However, the same hardware can be used in a law enforcement setting to conduct forensic examinations of cell phones that are important to sexual predator investigations. The contribution of this device to the SPII Task Force by AT&T saves the Task Force several thousand dollars, and assists the Task Force in its mission of making the Internet a safer place for the people of Belmont, Jefferson, Monroe and Noble counties.
“We are dedicated to strengthening our communities,” said B.J. Smith, AT&T Ohio Director of External Affairs. “Sometimes we do that by investing in enhancements of our wireless or wireline infrastructure here in Ohio. Other times, we do it by encouraging Ohioans not to text while driving as part of our national ‘It Can Wait’ campaign. In this instance, a piece of equipment that we no longer need can help keep young people in southeastern Ohio safe. We are so pleased to be able to assist the Task Force in their important work.”
The data transfer device was presented to Bethesda Police Chief Jeremy Campbell, in his leadership capacity with the multi-county SPII Task Force. The Task Force received the device from AT&T early this month.
“Our public safety forces not only fight crime, but also must understand and examine the high-tech tools that can be turned into instruments of those crimes,” said State Senator Lou Gentile. “AT&T’s willingness to provide this assistance to the Sexual Predator Internet Initiative Task Force is exactly the kind of local involvement and investment that we hope for from our corporate neighbors. I thank them for their contribution.”
The data transfer device is tremendously valuable not only to the Task Force, but also to neighboring law enforcement agencies, according to Chief Campbell.
“This is a vital piece of equipment for cell phone data extraction,” he said. “This donation will expedite the rate at which we can examine cell phones, which is helpful both for the investigations of the Task Force, and to assist other area law enforcement agencies in the forensic examinations they need in their cases. Having this device will help us clear a backlog that our labs are beginning to experience. I extend warm appreciation from the Task Force to AT&T, for providing us with this needed technology.”
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
The Sexual Predator Internet Initiative (SPII) Task Force targets Internet crimes against children in Ohio.
Ohio is ranked among the top five states for the creation, sale, and distribution of child pornography. Our mission is to aggressively pursue Internet predators and bring them to justice.
Our investigators identify and investigate suspected IP addresses that may be engaged in the creation, sale, or distribution of child pornography. Our investigators also deploy decoys online via social networking sites to prevent possible child abductions. Every arrest is symbolic of another threat that has been removed before a child’s life has been ruined and subjected to the consequences of a violent crime.
We currently have two full-time investigators, as well as six part-time investigators. We service four counties and a population of approximately 175,000 people. Our task force is primarily funded through Justice Assistance Grant (J.A.G.) funds, which are limited due to current economic conditions. We are always in need of new equipment and software to help us in our pursuit of child predators.