Protecting Your Kids From Child Predators - Part 2

Protecting your kids from child predators (Part 2)


Q13 Fox | Protecting Your Kids From Child Predators Part 2

We continue our series this morning on child exploitation today, and we’re introducing you to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to stopping predators from harming our children and rescuing kids who have become victims.

Brandi is here this morning, and this type of work can take an emotional toll.

I can’t even imagine even on investigators who’ve been doing this a very long time.

Sometimes, especially those investigators who have been doing it for an extended time.

I think sometimes we forget these types of crimes that can be devastating to so many trapped people.

Considering the toll it takes on the victims, on the victims’ families, on everyone involved.

Sometimes we forget about the toll it can take on investigators, and sometimes the most challenging part of their job is knowing when to stop.

I would love it if I didn’t have to do this job, but the sad fact is I knew Sergeant Carlos Rodriguez has seen things heard things that for most of us would be unbearable.

He deals with monsters every day, and sometimes he has to pretend that he’s one of them.

Anybody who does this takes a toll.

Sergeant Rodriguez is with the State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force.

He has helped lead a series of undercover stings called Operation Net Nanny, where he often poses as either a seller or buyer of child sex.

Hey, in total, they’ve arrested and charged more than 60 suspects and, even better, have rescued 18 children and potentially prevented countless others from becoming victims.

We were apprehending somebody who wants to harm a child, or are you saving a child, or you find a lead towards that, and you get a rescue.

That’s the best feeling.

Sergeant Rodriguez’s conversations with child predators online are far too graphic for TV, and like others who do this job, profoundly impacting Sergeant Rodriguez.

As a father now, that I do it, I don’t see how I can do anything else.

I am asking the court to impose a 38-month prison sentence.

King County senior deputy prosecutor Cecilia Gregson and Seattle police Captain Mike Edwards are with the Internet crimes against children Task Force.

They, too, are parents.

Since most things are videos, I can’t have the sound on; it’s one thing to see.

It is another thing to hear it, and I can’t get it out of my head.

You never forget the first image; you don’t forget any of them.

When you see the images and videos, now we rescue every child in those that’s when the mountain falls.

Seattle police detective Ian Polhemus had to stop investigating Child Exploitation cases after eight years.

You know the way I explained it now when I talked to fellow investigators.

I did eight years, which was one year too long.

It was time; it was absolutely time.

The last year I was doing this job was difficult for me.

I come on and now work as the full-time handler for “Bear”—a dog trained to sniff out electronic storage devices that suspects might be using to hide child pornography.

Cell phones, iPods, iPads are also helping detectives cope with the mental stress of their job.

Suppose they have to review content or deal with these cases.

It’s an opportunity for them to take a break for a few minutes.

You know it gets in their mind and not-so-pleasant places.

I don’t think I can do this forever.

Maybe take a break for a while and then go back and do it.

What would your message be to people out there looking? I don’t know if I can say it on TV?

No, no, I can’t.

Suppose somebody plans on showing up to do something like this.

I mean, I hope that it’s someone like me or law enforcement they meet rather than a child.

The driving force for all of us is there’s a kid out there.

There’s a child out there needing to be found and rescued.

There is a suspect that must go to jail!

I know I speak for a lot of people.

When I say, I’m so grateful that there are investigators out there willing to do this type of work.

Ready to take on that emotional toll, as they mentioned in that story.

You know all of them are parents.

It is coming up tomorrow morning at the same time.

We’re going to talk about some of the advice they have for other parents from their experience how they’ve changed how they raise their kids or deal with their kids, especially when it comes to online stuff and the apps on their phones.

We talked about this yesterday, Brandi, about how it’s easy to watch these kinds of stories at first before doing it locally like you have and say this is something that’s happening elsewhere.

How realistic is it for everyday families to be legitimately concerned about the possibility of this happening to their family? Any parent who has a kid with a cell phone should be worried legitimately.

That’s just about, and I think every parent out there.

Suppose your kids have a cell phone.

It depends on the type of case.

If we’re talking about actual in-person physical abuse of a child and you have to have an adult in your life, that is willing to exploit you in that way.

When we talk about exploitation online, I hate to call it a trend, but investigators say exploitation should be the most concern to parents.

You might have apps where something disappears right after you send it.

You get a predator pretending to be someone else, getting one of those images from a child, and then using that image to exploit them for more graphic photos.

So that’s what we’re talking about tomorrow? What everyday families should be taking away from investigators?

It’s terrifying!

I’m so glad you’re shedding light on this.

Yes, thank you, Brandi.

By Brandi Kruse Published December 9, 2016 FOX13 News Seattle Washington KCPQ

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