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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Police Department is teaming up with the state Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

The DOJ announced the partnership this week. UW Oshkosh’s University Police joins more than 180 other law enforcement agencies around Wisconsin allied with the state to help expand the investigative power of the special task force.

“Any University should maintain their capabilities to investigate such crimes should they arise on campus,” University Police Chief Joe LeMire said.

The ICAC is dedicated to swiftly and affectively investigating Internet crimes and predators targeting children. The DOJ reports that, in 2011, the state’s ICAC Task Force was responsible for the arrest of more than 100 child predators. More than 45,000 people attended the agency’s educational presentations regarding online child exploitation.

UW Oshkosh Police Department Sergeant Donovan Heavener will be UW Oshkosh’s ICAC liaison, LeMire said. Heavener came to University Police with extensive training in internet crimes against children. Funding to support UW Oshkosh’s ICAC task force partnership will also fuel training for another University Police officer in September, LeMire said.

The ICAC affiliation also qualifies UW Oshkosh’s University Police for related computer hardware and software cost reimbursement and expert investigative assistance if needed.

LeMire said the ICAC partnership will also prove advantageous as officers have the opportunity to help educate UW Oshkosh K-12 teacher education and criminal justice students. The sharing of training around the campus will be beneficial to students likely to serve and work with children in the course of their careers.

“It’s a pay-it-forward type of thing,” LeMire said.

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