The U.S. Homeland Security Department is getting into the business of pursuing child predators. Secretary Tom Ridge said authorities in his bailiwick are pulling together once-fragmented investigative and intelligence resources, the Associated Press reports.
Operation Predator is designed to protect children from pornographers, child prostitution rings, Internet predators, alien smugglers, human traffickers and other criminals. The department’s Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is leading the initiative. It will draw on Internet sources, intelligence, investigation and detention and removal functions of the bureau to target those who exploit children.
The program includes a single Web portal to access all publicly available state Megan’s Law databases; a national child victim identification system; a new alliance with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; a toll-free reporting number – 1-866-DHS-BICE; and a way to identify alien sex offender inmates before release from prison.