Keeping Kids Safe from Cyber Predators

As internet access becomes more widespread, so too has the dangers of child pornography, mainstream pornography, sex trafficking, and sexual solicitation.

Krista Trahan and Detective Dana Kaczynski gave conference attendees a look at the dark side of the internet and its impact on children.
Krista Trahan and Detective Dana Kaczynski gave conference attendees a look at the dark side of the internet and its impact on children. Senator Jennings served as the moderator.

In the MACo Summer Conference session “To Catch a Predator: Protecting Children from Cybercrimes”, the presenters shared the disturbing reality of what youth can face as they surf on the internet and what county police and social services are doing to rid of these crimes.

Krista Trahan and Detective Dana Kaczynnski are members of Baltimore County’s multidisciplinary Crimes Against Children Team (CAC). This team includes child protective services, law enforcement, the state’s attorney office, a medical director, and victim’s services.

Trahan and Kaczynski jointly presented on the the team’s work which ranges from investigations of sexual and physical abuse, missing/abducted children, internet crimes against children, medical exams, mental health and support services.

They shared the world of dangers that widespread and unlimited access to the internet has opened for youth; the challenges of keeping up with the latest apps and technologies for online communication; catching the perpetrators; and the aftermath of treating and rehabilitating victims and their families

Interesting facts and figures:

  • Baltimore County is the only jurisdiction in Maryland with an in-house Sexual Abuse Treatment Program for youth.
  • From 2009 to 2015 Baltimore County saw a 515% increase in the number of child cyber crime investigations.

The session was moderated by Senator J.B. Jennings and held on Thursday, August 18, 2016.

The 2016 MACo summer conference was held August 17-20 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year the conference’s theme was “Cyber Solutions: Counties in the Digital Age.”