Dan Broughton, co-founder of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, congratulates Sioux Falls Mayor Dave Munson while Pam Portin, Director of Policy for MSN, congratulates Attorney General Larry Long on the MSN and NCMEC “Cyber Safe City” recognition.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.
May 15, 2003 MSN® and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), one of the nation’s leading child advocacy groups, today named Sioux Falls a Cyber Safe City, one of only six American cities to be so honored. Lt. Bill Mickelson and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation also were recognized as Cyber Safe City Heroes for their championing of online safety in Sioux Falls and South Dakota. Mayor Dave Munson kicked off the Cyber Safe City activities by issuing an official online safety proclamation at the event held at Carnegie Town Hall in Sioux Falls.
The Cyber Safe City designation is part of a nationwide initiative to recognize cities that are pioneering the drive to help keep the nation’s children safer online and to encourage cities across the United States to follow the lead of these online safety role models. The Cyber Safe City program also is designed to provide resources to law enforcement agencies and families for online safety education in Sioux Falls and throughout the United States. The education and training resources MSN and NCMEC are locally implementing are being made available nationally at http://www.staysafeonline.com/ .
“In working with the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children (SD ICAC) task force, and with the launch of the Sioux Falls Electronic Crimes task force, Sioux Falls has kept online safety at the forefront of crime-prevention initiatives,”
“We’re thrilled that our community’s hard work and diligence for online safety has been recognized, and we hope our commitment to fighting cybercrime will serve as an example for communities nationwide.”
Sioux Falls along with the other Cyber Safe Cities, which include Dallas; Naperville, Ill.; New York; San Diego; and Seattle will receive the MSN/NCMEC Cyber Safe City award, along with additional resources and tools to help the community continue its outstanding work in educating citizens about online safety.
“Our comprehensive program will provide resources and educational tools to law enforcement to help Sioux Falls in its commitment to help protect its citizens online,”
said Ernie Allen, co-founder and president of NCMEC.
“We’re also proud to offer national recognition for the great work that Sioux Falls and the state of South Dakota have done to promote a safer Internet experience.”
Because of the notable citywide programs instituted in Sioux Falls by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, and their commitment to helping keep kids safe online, Sioux Falls has been chosen as a Cyber Safe City. Sioux Falls (in concert with South Dakota’s statewide initiatives) sets an example of a city with impressive dedication to online safety education and law enforcement.
Mickelson, commander of the SD ICAC task force, and former Gov. Bill Janklow (currently a U.S. congressman), in conjunction with Sheriff Mike Milstead and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, have been specifically recognized for securing federal funding to launch what became the SD ICAC Enforcement Unit in October 2001. At the time the multiagency, multijurisdiction initiative was launched, the SD ICAC developed a comprehensive Web site, http://www.sdcybersafe.com/ ; a free safety video; and training and tools to serve as a resource for teachers, parents, kids and law enforcement.
To further the community’s commitment to online safety, Munson today announced the launch of the Sioux Falls Electronic Crimes task force, a combination of the SD ICAC, Sioux Falls Police Department and Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office. For the Sioux Falls Electronic Crimes task force, a full-time safety officer will be trained in online investigation. The Sioux Falls Police Department has officers assigned to the online crimes task force. Officers also will visit local schools to deliver online safety messages to children as well as resources that educators can use.
South Dakota Attorney General Larry Long, a strong supporter of the South Dakota online safety initiatives, said,
“My office is dedicated to combating and preventing crime serving the law for the state and enforcing consumer-protection laws for the benefit of all South Dakota’s citizens. To that end, we recognize and celebrate the NCMEC and MSN Cyber Safe City program as a step toward keeping kids safer online and helping ensure that the citizens of Sioux Falls are protected.”
“As a world leader in Internet software and services, MSN is committed to creating software and providing resources that enable individuals and families to have a fun, useful and safe online experience,”
said Pam Portin, director of policy at MSN.
“Our goal in creating the Cyber Safe City program is to recognize the great work and commitment to online safety made by Sioux Falls and to encourage other cities to follow Sioux Falls’ example.”
The Cyber Safe City tour kicked off May 1 in New York, where MSN and NCMEC announced they were partnering to recognize six cities for their outstanding work in online safety and provide each city with additional tools and resources to help them expand their online safety programs. Activities in the first Cyber Safe City market included appearances by
“America’s Most Wanted”
host John Walsh, NCMEC’s Ernie Allen, Rich Bray of MSN and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Cyber Safe City tour safety expert Detective Mike
Sullivan and Internet Mom Robin Raskin presented the program’s online safety education curriculum to the New York Police Department.
To find out more about how to stay safe online and about the activities in each of the Cyber Safe Cities, law enforcement, educators, parents and kids are encouraged to visit http://www.staysafeonline.com/ .
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC has access to both the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS). NCMEC operates the CyberTipline, an online mechanism to report child sexual exploitation such as online enticement of children for sex acts and child pornography. Mandated by the U.S. Congress in 1998, the CyberTipline has received over 120,000 reports leading to hundreds of arrests of child predators. Created in 1984 NCMEC has aided law-enforcement officials in the search for more than 89,000 missing children. More than 73,000 children have been recovered as a result. More information about NCMEC is available by calling (800) THE-LOST (843-5678) or visiting http://www.missingkids.com/ .
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