SHREVEPORT, La. – The Northwest Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised offederal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations, and was formedin an effort to promote enhanced collaboration between all agencies involved in combatting humantrafficking cases in our area. This Task Force has launched a campaign to fight sexual predator casescalled “Project R.I.S.K.,” Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced.
Members of the Task Force have noticed a disturbing trend in the rise of sexual predator cases inthe Western District of Louisiana. Because of this trend, the Task Force has launched “Project R.I.S.K.” (Reliable Internet Safety for Kids).
Since March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed our youth to be on the internet more than ever before. Today, the internet not only entertains and connects our youth with their peers, but a vastmajority of them are using the internet for virtual schooling. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office hasreported a 200% increase in online sexual predator cases since the beginning of the pandemic. This increasein internet activity allows more opportunity for predators to interact with our youth. As we see in all cases, predators will also adapt to their changing environments.
The Task Force has created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to launch Project R.I.S.K. andcontains messages from leaders of area law enforcement agencies providing advice to help preventpredators from victimizing children.
Leaders advise all guardians, including parents, teachers, and custodians, to place ALL devicessuch as computers, laptops, tablets, and smart phones in common areas. Smart phones, even those withno service, allow the same access to predators as a computer or other device. Guardians need to knowwhat apps are on these devices and also know their children’s passwords. Project R.I.S.K. also encouragesall guardians to engage in their children’s activities.
All agencies in this Task Force share a united front to eliminate all human trafficking type cases;however, to be more successful, they need assistance from the public. Many parents and guardians wantto protect their children but may not know
where to look for reliable internet safety information. Project R.I.S.K. is designed to assist with that. TheProject R.I.S.K. PSA will provide reliable information and the law enforcement agencies involved in thisTask Force can help as well. Members of the Task Force will be available to meet with citizens, localgovernment officials, community organizations, school boards, churches, and other groups to discussProject R.I.S.K. and internet safety.
The members of the Northwest Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force are:
Law Enforcement Members
Bossier CityMarshal’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
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
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
For further information regarding Project R.I.S.K., contact any of the members above or Assistant United States Attorney Earl Campbell at 318-676-3600.
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