Sgt. Manetta, public information officer for the state police, admits that there is no shortage of leads on child pornography possessors, but he says it isn’t that simple.
He says all local law enforcement agencies either have an ICAC investigator on team or access to one, and ICAC investigators have access to the database. Manetta says using ICACs as a “clearinghouse” for leads is a better protocol than simply “pushing out” raw data to local law enforcement.
“The problem with that premise infers that this lead is in such a format that it can be followed up on without training, without knowing how to use that lead appropriately and then to ensure that your investigation is not going to impact someone else’s adjacent investigation,” says Manetta. “It really doesn’t make sense to put it out there ... the last thing in the world you would want is someone working a low-level simple possession case to jeopardize a case about a vast network of distribution.”
Lt. Dave Peifer says that the estimate of following up on “less than 1 percent” of leads is outdated. He says that for one thing, since 2008, the size of Pennsylvania’s ICAC almost doubled to 185 affiliate officers. “More people are trained in doing these types of investigations and we’re out there every day monitoring,” he says. Peifer says it’s not like the leads are just sitting in a database. “These leads are generated and seen by investigators immediately and worked pretty soon.”
The details will be worked out, or argued, soon enough. Deasy’s office confirms the legislation has been drafted and will be formally introduced within two weeks. The attorney general’s office did not return PW’s request for comment.
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