The New York ICAC was created in 1998 through an ongoing Federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The ICAC Task Force Program has grown from ten task forces in 1998 to 61 today. The program ensures that participating State and local law enforcement agencies can acquire the necessary knowledge, equipment, and personnel resources to prevent, interdict, or investigate offenses against children. Under the program, ICAC Task Forces serve as regional sources of prevention, education, and investigative expertise to provide assistance to parents, teachers, law enforcement, and other professionals working on child victimization issues.
On a more local level, the New York ICAC is able to bring the resources of law enforcement and support agencies from throughout the state to bear on several fronts. Reactively, the task force serves as a "clearing house" for the many complaints that are received from private citizens, other law enforcement agencies and electronic service providers. In addition, the NY ICAC receives all "cybertip" complaints from the National Center for Missing Exploited Children that have a New York nexus.
Education and awareness is a very big part of the mission of the New York ICAC Task Force. We regularly visit schools and speak to students of all ages regarding the potential dangers of the Internet. We discuss these same dangers with teachers who may be in a position to supervise a child's Internet access, as well as parents of children who regularly access the Internet from their home. In addition, we coordinate, facilitate, and conduct training for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, childcare providers, and any other professionals who work with children or have a professional interest in their safety. We are convinced that education and awareness, and therefore prevention, are some of the most effective areas of focus when it comes to the safety of children on the Internet.