Governor Pushes for Crackdown on Internet Crime

January 11, 2007 -- Posted at 5:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-Governor Beebe announced Wednesday in his address to the state that "crime is no longer limited to the streets or parking lots."

He talked of how the new era in crime comes by way of the world wide web.

Therefore the Governor is implementing a plan that will combine state and local law enforcement agencies together to better attack internet crime.

"The internet has created a new avenue for the darkest minds," said the Governor.  "That's why the state will work with law enforcement agencies to understand computer-based crimes and create information and education for that as an integral part of our law enforcement experience."

The Jonesboro Police Department already participates in the program known as I.C.A.C. (Internet Crimes Against Children.)  They tell us that this new program will allow for additional training that is much needed.

"We've never had the technology, we've never had the training, and we've never had the funding," said Detective Ernest Ward.  "It's time that it happened."

But we are told that it's a combined effort of parents and law enforcement that makes the biggest difference in battling this type of crime.

"That needs to be the first line of defense is parents.  The parents need to know what their children are doing on the internet, what web sites they are seeing.  They need to regulate what they are doing.  And the only way to do that is if parents become educated themselves," said Ward.

And working together is what the state says is the ultimate goal when it comes to preventing the unthinkable.

"We have to do this, because we have to protect our most valuable asset, which is our children," said Governor Beebe.

We are told a new computer training lab will be set up at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy and the Univeristy of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute.

Some internet tips to keep your family safe include:  Always keeping your passwords private, never sharing photos with someone you don't know, don't respond to a message if it makes you feel uncomfortable, when in doubt ask and adult or parent, and finally and most importantly never meet an "online friend" in person.

If you want to know more on how to protect your family check out one of the many Internet Safety pages available online.

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