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  • Office of Justice Programs
  • Contact: Kara McCarthy
  • (202) 307-1241

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT AWARDS TO PROTECT CHILDREN AT NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN'S DAY CEREMONY

Recognizes nine individuals for their efforts on behalf of children

           WASHINGTON—Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden announced today that the Department of Justice is awarding $50 million in Recovery Act funds to support activities of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program. The Deputy Attorney General made the announcement in his remarks at the Department’s annual National Missing Children’s Day ceremony.

           Of the $50 million in Recovery Act funds, the Department will award $41.5 million in formula grants to the ICAC Task Forces throughout the United States. In addition to these grants, the Department will award $8.5 million for training and technical assistance, research, and communication and data infrastructure. To learn more about Recovery Act grants and the status of awards, visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/recovery.

            "The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces are aggressively pursuing all avenues to protect children against sexual victimization," said Deputy Attorney General Ogden. "The Department of Justice will continue to actively pursue all predators who target our most vulnerable, which is why I’m so pleased to announce these dedicated funds from the Recovery Act to advance these crucial efforts of our ICAC Task Forces."

           The national network of 59 ICAC Task Forces represent more than 2,000 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies engaged in developing an effective response to sexual predators who target children via the Internet and other electronic devices. During the past two years, the ICAC Task Forces have successfully conducted more than 24,371 forensic examinations, identified nearly 1,439 abused or neglected children and arrested 5,450 individuals.

           During the Missing Children’s Day ceremony, the Deputy Attorney General acknowledged the dedication of law enforcement and concerned citizens for their courageous efforts to recover missing or abducted children and combat child exploitation.  In addition to the Deputy Attorney General, the ceremony included remarks by Laurie O. Robinson, Acting Assistant Attorney General, OJP and the recipients of the following awards were recognized:

Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award: Recognizes the extraordinary efforts of an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, an ICAC affiliate agency or an individual assigned to an ICAC Task Force or affiliate agency for making a significant investigative or program contribution to the ICAC Task Force.

Five individuals jointly received the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award for their successful prosecution of a 35-year-old Florida swim coach who downloaded and distributed child pornography and had sexual contact with at least five of the boys he coached. The individuals are:

Missing Children’s Day Law Enforcement Award: Recognizes the extraordinary efforts of a law enforcement officer who has made a significant investigative or program contribution to the safety of a child.

Missing Children’s Day Citizen Award: Honors the extraordinary efforts of private citizens for their unselfish acts to safely recover missing or abducted children.

Missing Children’s Day Child Protection Award: Honors the extraordinary efforts of a law enforcement officer who has made a significant investigative or program contribution to protecting children from abuse or victimization.

Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest:

           Twenty-six years ago, President Ronald W. Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day in memory of Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared from a New York City street corner on that day in 1979. Missing Children’s Day honors his memory and the memory of children who are still missing, celebrates the stories of recovery and pays tribute to the exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations and individuals engaged in protecting children.

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           The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART).  More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.