Internet safety seminar draws dozens to learn

Internet safety seminar draws dozens to learn
By: Wes Wallace
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Thanks to the internet, child predators can gain access to your home without ever stepping foot in the door.   That's why in this information age, it's important for both parents and police to understand the threat of internet crimes.
"As a parent, I try to stay one step ahead of my kids,"  says Kristi Howard.  As a mother of a 13-year old and 15-year old, Howard knows the risks associated with her children and the computer.
On Monday, students, parents, and law enforcement officers got a chance to here three separate seminars on one topic - keeping kids safe on the internet.
"Unlike some other crimes, it (internet predators and child porn) often goes unreported," explains Dr. Michael Brown, Director of Southeast Missouri State University's Law Enforcement Academy, "Victims are reluctant to come forward, but the problem is much more widespread than people want to believe."
Lieutenant Joe Laramie heads up the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  Lt. Laramie made several different presentations, each tailored to different audiences.   For law enforcement officers and victims advocates, he discusses ways to investigate and prosecute child predators.  For parents, Laramie advices to keep an open line of communication.
"You don't spy on your children unless they give you a reason to spy, " says Laramie, "You shouldn't spend time snooping behind the scenes, but instead you should talk to your kids face to face on the front side."