Task Force launches initiative to keep kids safe from online sexual predators


NORTHWEST LOUISIANA (KTAL/KMSS) – The Northwest Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force (Task Force) has noticed a disturbing rise in sexual predator cases in the state, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has reported a 200 percent increase in online sexual predator cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Because of this trend, the Task Force, which is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations, has launched “Project R.I.S.K.” (Reliable Internet Safety for Kids).

Since March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed youth more to the internet than ever before.

Today, the internet not only entertains and connects young people to their peers, but a vast majority of them are using the internet for virtual schooling. This increase in internet activity allows more opportunity for predators to interact with juveniles.

Law enforcement says predators easily adapt to changing environments. 

In the Public Service Announcement launching Project R.I.S.K., leaders of area law enforcement agencies provide advice to help prevent predators from victimizing children.

These leaders advise all guardians (parents, teachers, custodians, etc.) to place all devices (computers, laptops, tablets, and phones) in common areas.

Phones – even those with no service – allow the same access to predators as a computer or other device.

Parents and guardians need to know what apps are on all devices and also know their children’s passwords. Project R.I.S.K. encourages all parents and guardians to engage in their children’s activities.

The agencies in the Task Force share a united front to eliminate all human trafficking type cases; however, to be more successful, they need the public’s help.

They understand most parents and guardians want to protect their kids but may not know where to look for “reliable internet safety information.”

Project R.I.S.K. has asked all Task Force agencies to post this reliable information on their websites, so guardians will always have this information at their fingertips.

Finally, members of the Task Force will be available to meet with citizens, local government officials, community organizations, school boards, churches, and other groups to discuss Project R.I.S.K. and internet safety.

Law Enforcement Members

Bossier City Marshal’s Office

Bossier City Police Department

Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office

Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office

Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force (FBI-Shreveport Field Office)

Claiborne Parish Sheriff’s Office

DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office

Federal Bureau of Investigations, Shreveport Field Office

Greenwood Police Department

Homeland Security Investigations, Shreveport Field Office

Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

Louisiana Alcohol Tobacco Commission

Louisiana State Police

Office of Special Investigations, Barksdale Air Force Base

Sabine Parish Sherriff’s Office

Shreveport Police Department

United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General

United States Department of State

United States Marshal Service, Western District of Louisiana

Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office

Prosecutorial Members

United States Attorney’s Office (Western District of Louisiana)

Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office

Bossier/Webster Parish District Attorney’s Office

Louisiana State Attorney’s General Office

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