by: Megan Wilson, Ozarks First/KNWA
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and a deputy prosecuting attorney is making sure parents are protecting their children from exploitation.
Kevin Metcalf from the 4th Judicial District of Arkansas is the founder of the National Child Protection task force.
He said the biggest challenge comes from criminal networks that operate under the radar of most law enforcement.
That’s why Metcalf is putting together an expert technology team to help law enforcement keep up with online predator trends.
“To get an investigator with a case load sitting there to sit down and have some time and learning how to do some of this tech work is just not realistic,” he said “We have these technology people, that’s all they do. If I can put them together and they can have this discussion and interplay in the flow that’s where the power is, it’s working together.”
The task force was started in 2018 and has helped multiple agencies identify and apprehend sexual predators and recover children.