GREAT FALLS – The Cascade County Commissioners approved a three-year grant for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at Tuesday’s meeting.
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said the commissioners understand the need for the new position at the Sheriff’s Office.
“They understand that this is the future of what crime looks like in America,” Slaughter said.
The task force is a network of 61 coordinated task forces representing more than 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies.
“Fortunately here in Great Falls alone, we have Border Patrol, Homeland Security, the Great Falls Police Department, and now the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office will all be a part of this task force,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter said until now, they lacked the funding or training to investigate internet crimes against children without outside help.
“There are multiple cases that the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office are working that involve internet crimes against children,” Slaughter said.
In addition to the grant, the sheriff’s office will add a detective to investigate child pornography and human trafficking crimes in support of the task force. The detective will also hold educational presentations for the public.
“Teaching parents how to keep their children safe. Teaching children how to stay safe on the internet and also doing presentations on human trafficking,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter has a history with the task force as he worked with them for seven years through the Great Falls Police Department.
“I really believe in their mission and really believe in what they do for our community,” Slaughter said.
The $8,500 grant will help pay for training, equipment, and overtime costs.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News