The IACP and the National Center for Missing& Exploited Children Release Cyberbullying Tip Card for Law Enforcement
Alexandria, Va., Aug. 7, 2014 – On August 7, 2014, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) jointly released a new tool for law enforcement titled, Preparing and Responding to Cyberbullying: Tips for Law Enforcement. The project was supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The IACP and NCMEC joined together to address an issue that affects our nation's children, their parents, and communities and is increasingly being reported to law enforcement agencies for investigation.
The tip card includes over 20 recommendations from subject matter experts working in law enforcement, youth trauma, mental health, computer crimes, victim services, and education. It provides guidance on cyberbullying prevention, preparation, response, and investigation to law enforcement administrators and first responders.
Cyberbullying is one of the most prominent new issues facing law enforcement, and it's not limited to computers. Tablets, social media, cell phones, and gaming systems can also be used to harass youth. Various studies from the Cyberbullying Research Center show that 25% of teens have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lives.
In many states, there is no clear criminal statute on cyberbullying, yet law enforcement are increasingly called to respond to these incidents. Law enforcement agencies have the opportunity to help children, parents, school administrators, and other professionals understand legal obligations, authority, and respective roles regarding prevention and response to cyberbullying incidents.
"Law enforcement officers have a unique challenge when responding to cyberbullying complaints," said the IACP's President, Chief Yousry "Yost" Zakhary (City of Woodway, Texas). "Bullying no longer only happens in schools and neighborhoods. Technology allows bullies to have access to their victim anytime and anywhere and bully in new ways using numerous online methods. This new tool gives law enforcement a checklist of options in a modern-day investigative area that has, until now, lacked guidance and training."
"We know that cyberbullying can affect the social, emotional, and physical health of a child with incidents escalating to sometimes tragic outcomes. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has worked to provide educators with the tools they can use to respond to cyberbullying situations in the classroom," said NCMEC president and CEO, John Ryan. "We're grateful to have this opportunity with the IACP to provide a useful tool on this topic to the law enforcement community. With everyone working together, we can do more to protect children."
A copy of the Tip Card, in English or Spanish, is available on the IACP website at www.theiacp.org/cyberbullyingresources.
About the IACP
The International Association of Chiefs of Police is a dynamic organization that serves as the professional voice of law enforcement. Building on our past success, the IACP addresses cutting edge issues confronting law enforcement though advocacy, programs and research, as well as training and other professional services. IACP is a comprehensive professional organization that supports the law enforcement leaders of today and develops the leaders of tomorrow.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is the leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues relating to missing and sexually exploited children. Authorized by Congress to serve as the nation's clearinghouse on these issues, NCMEC operates a hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), and has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 199,500 children. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline, a mechanism for reporting child pornography, child sex trafficking and other forms of child sexual exploitation. Since it was created in 1998, more than 2.6 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation have been received, and more than 116 million suspected child pornography images have been reviewed. NCMEC works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, visit www.missingkids.com. Follow NCMEC on Twitter and like NCMEC on Facebook.
About the Offices of Justice Programs, United States Department of Justice
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police