As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $50 million is being awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for the 59 regional task forces that comprise the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program.
The funding is aimed to help ICACs develop an effective response against cyber-enticement and child pornography, mostly by hiring new officers or allowing agencies to retain current personnel.
"The main intent of the money was to create and save jobs," said Jim Cooper, commander of the Sacramento Valley (Calif.) Hi-Tech Task Force. "For our task force it will have an impact on our ability to investigate ICAC cases because we are hiring two detectives -- but we still don't have enough funds to adequately address all cases."
Cooper said the funding will be allocated on a formula that doesn't take into consideration the varying costs of hiring officers across the country. "The cost for positions on the West Coast is higher than the cost for positions in the Midwest," he said.
For more information on the grants that are available and deadlines for applications, go to: http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/recoveryact.html