The Laguna Beach Police Department has joined the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force to support the mission of protecting children against online predators.
The ICAC was developed by the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to assist local, state and federal law enforcement agencies investigating internet-related crimes against youth. ICAC consists of 61 coordinated task forces across the country and over 5,400 federal, state, and local law enforcement members.
On July 10, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura County joined together in a two-week operation called “Online Guardian.” The operation aimed to identify and arrest predators using the internet to facilitate the sexual abuse of children. The police made 139 arrests over the two-week process, accomplished through proactive undercover investigations on various social media platforms.
Laguna Beach Police Department personnel, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center partnered for this operation. Laguna Beach detectives arrested six adult men intent on having sex with a minor under 14. None of the six men arrested were Laguna Beach residents. Charges included meeting a minor for lewd purposes/sex, contacting or attempting contact with a minor for sex and sending obscene matters to a child for sex.
“As the internet becomes increasingly embedded in our children’s lives, parents and guardians face new challenges in keeping them safe online,” Police Chief Jeff Calvert said. “It is important for parents to be active participants in how their children use the internet and emphasize never sharing personal information or meeting offline with someone they only know from an online social media platform.”