UPDATE: Eau Claire PD ups investigations into online child sex crimes
Over the past few months, the Eau Claire Police Department has arrested four men involved in sex crimes against children over the internet.
Back in May the Eau Claire Police Department reorganized their investigative resources to allow one detective to focus on investigating internet crimes involving children, and with those 4 arrests, the Eau Claire PD is seeing a positive impact with these changes.
"It's really an issue about safety and the safety of our community’s children, and it's always been a priority for the Eau Claire Police Department,” says Deputy Chief Matt Rokus. “More and more people are using computers and other electronic devices to victimize children.”
Eau Claire Police decided to make changes to maintain that priority by reorganizing its resources to bring more focus to these types of crimes.
Since the Eau Claire Police Department has prioritized one detective to work on investigating internet crimes involving children, it has resulted in four arrests.
“They can scan and view different social media platforms in an effort to find people who are specifically targeting children,” says Sergeant Mark Pieper. “In addition to that, they will also post online ads soliciting child sexual predators.”
And once a suspect is identified, Deputy Chief Matt Rokus says it's a collaborative effort among the department.
“We then take a more broad approach, trying to determine the suspect’s possible access to children, access or involvement in child pornography, and other ways that they may be targeting children in our community.”
And not only are these changes making Eau Claire more proactive, but surrounding agencies as well.
"We are able to use the lab for other agencies that ask for our assistance based on the expertise that these guys have in the lab,” says Pieper. “So we'll get a lot of outside agencies that do request our assistance with that.”
And while the work of these detectives begins with these changes, it doesn't stop there.
“It's constant, where these guys are constantly attending trainings, national trainings just to keep up on trends with digital media,” says Pieper.
Keeping the Eau Claire Police Department one step ahead, and doing everything they can to keep the communities children safe.
And the Eau Claire police department says if you are online and see others engaged in unsafe or suspicious internet activity to contact your local police department or Sheriff’s office.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE) --
The safety of our community's children is a priority for members of the Eau Claire Police Department. With the continuous growth in the use of social media and computers to facilitate crimes against children, the Eau Claire Police Department realigned resources within the Investigations Bureau and Chippewa Valley Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (CVRCFL) to address this trend. In May 2017, an Eau Claire Police Detective was added to the CVRCFL to assist with a growing case load and conduct investigations involving adults who prey on children in our community. This was done with existing staff, no personnel was added to the department.
The CVRCFL is a collaboration of Detectives from the Eau Claire Police Department, Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office and the Altoona Police Department. The CVRCFL extracts, examines, and preserves computer, cell phone and other digital evidence for a wide range of crimes committed in the Chippewa Valley. In addition, the laboratory conducts proactive investigations as they relate to Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) by identifying and arresting child sexual predators in the Chippewa Valley.
This additional Eau Claire Police Detective assigned to the CVRCFL prioritizes investigating crimes against children involving computers. Over the past several months, the Eau Claire Police Department arrested four men after pro-active investigations were initiated by the detectives in the CVRCFL. These men were charged with child enticement, using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and attempted first degree sexual assault of a child.
These four men are: Jarad J. Bischoff m/w (DOB: 03/29/1983), Pierre A. Amyotte m/w (DOB: 12/24/1982), Duane A. Schoonover m/w (DOB: 11/25/1972) and Tracy D. Conry m/w (DOB: 01/03/1969). The arrest of Conry occurred on August 8, 2017. All of the arrested believed that they were communicating with a child and were meeting for the purpose of a sexual encounter.
The Eau Claire Police Department will continue these, and other, proactive efforts in order to keep our community’s children safe. We also want to encourage parents, relatives and the general public to remain diligent regarding Internet safety. Talk to your child about Internet safety. Monitor and place restrictions on your child's electronic and Internet usage. If you are on-line and see others engaged in unsafe or suspicious Internet activity report it to your local police department or sheriff's office.