SEATTLE, May 28, 2003 — MSN®
and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), one of the nation’s leading child advocacy groups, today recognized Seattle as a Cyber Safe City — one of only six U.S. cities to be so honored — and acknowledged the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force; and the department’s Capt. Greg Ayco, Sgt. Brian Johnson as well as Detective Leanne Shirey, and Des Moines, Wash., Police Department Detective Chuck Pardee as Cyber Safe City Heroes for championing online safety in the community. At an event held at the African American Academy, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels kicked off Cyber Safe City activities by expressing Seattle’s appreciation at being recognized for its cybersafety efforts.
The Cyber Safe City program 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 is designed to provide resources to law enforcement agencies, educators and families for online safety education in Seattle and throughout the United States. The education and training resources MSN and NCMEC are implementing locally are being made available nationally at http://www.staysafeonline.com/ .
“I’m pleased to see recognition of the great work done by the Seattle Police Department,”
“The Seattle Police were among the first in the nation to develop an Internet-safety program, which is now a model for programs in 17 states. Seattle’s program has taught more than 17,000 individuals — including parents, teacher and others — about how to help protect children from online threats.”
Seattle along with the other Cyber Safe Cities — Dallas; Naperville, Ill.; New York; San Diego; and Sioux Falls, S.D. — will receive the MSN and NCMEC Cyber Safe City award, along with additional resources and tools to help them continue their outstanding work in educating their citizens about online safety.
“Our comprehensive program not only helps further Seattle’s commitment to helping to protect its residents online by providing resources and educational tools to law enforcement, but it offers national recognition for the great work Seattle is doing to promote a safer Internet experience,”
said Ruben Rodriguez, director of the exploited child unit for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Seattle has been chosen as a Cyber Safe City because of its extensive commitment to online safety. Significant focus on promoting online safety by both the Seattle Police Department and the mayor’s office has earned Seattle the title of Cyber Safe City. The Special Investigations Unit of the Seattle Police Vice Section not only serves as the ICAC Task Force for Washington, but also takes responsibility for educating hundreds of community members through PTA meetings, special interest group meetings and Seattle Public Schools. In addition, Cyber Safe City Hero Shirey created the Internet and Your Child program ( http://theinternetandyourchild.org/program.htm ) which provides information to those responsible for overseeing children’s activities online. Shirey’s program seeks to prevent victimization of children on the Internet; prevent criminal involvement of children on the Internet; and educate adults in the use of computers, the Internet and computer ethics for themselves and their children.
“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 Lisa Gurry, director of MSN.
“Our goal in creating the Cyber Safe City program is to recognize the great work and commitment to online safety made by Seattle and to encourage other cities to follow Seattle’s example.”
The Cyber Safe City tour kicked off May 1 in New York City, where MSN and NCMEC announced they were partnering to recognize six cities for their outstanding work in online safety and provide them with additional tools and resources to help them expand their online safety programs. Activities in the first Cyber Safe City market included appearances from
“America’s Most Wanted”
host and NCMEC Co-Founder John Walsh, NCMEC Co-Founder and President Ernie Allen, Bray and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Cyber Safe City tour safety expert and Naperville, Ill., 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 personnel, 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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