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Madison County adds internet crimes against children investigator-what parents need to know

The internet has changed our lives forever. The manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography, which used to be a very secretive “underworld” industry, now thrives because the internet has made it so easily accessible.  Social networking sites and unsupervised internet usage have created an open forum for predators who seek contact with our children. 

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference today Friday, October 6, 2023 and announced the hiring of Deputy Anthony Gatson who recently retired from the Kentucky State Police. Deputy Gatson will be part of the Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Chief Deputy Anthony Terry who introduced Deputy Gatson stated “The Madison County Sheriff Department is committed to the security and protection of the children of Madison County and educating the public regarding these types of criminal activity.”

The ICAC Task Force is comprised of more than 26 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Deputy Gatson has more than 30 years of advanced training and investigation with the Kentucky State Police Department.

The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the Department of Justice and administered by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention, and community education.

Funding is provided for the ICAC Task Force under the Missing and Exploited Children appropriation included in the Department of Justice fiscal year budget. Deputy Gaston is replacing a recent retiree from the Madison County Sheriff Department.

The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, and the heightened online activity of predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Deputy Gatson will also work closely with Homeland Security to investigate human trafficking and provide education to any group and the Madison County schools. Deputy Gatson stated that his investigations with the Kentucky State Police led to the arrest of four individuals in the last year.

Parents are urged to call (859) 623-1511 if they see any type of suspicious behavior regarding internet activity or potential predators in Madison County.

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