ALBANY - The New York State Police Academy in Albany hosted a week long seminar on crimes against children that began Monday, May 19 and is running through Friday, May 23. The seminar provided extensive training from nationally recognized experts on topics including sex trafficking, forensic interviewing, medical evaluation of child victims, internet crimes against children and investigations involving persons with disabilities among other topics.
The annual seminar was attended by members of law enforcement, social service workers, prosecutors, medical professionals and victim advocates who work in New York State.
According to Senior Investigator Gary Kelly with the New York State Police Special Victims Unit, law enforcement has become more aware of the prevalence of sex trafficking which is why that topic was added to this year’s gathering.
Kelly said, “We have also seen an increase in the amount of internet crimes involving children and this seminar is designed to educate the participants on the latest tools available to prevent, identify and prosecute those who commit sex crimes against children.”
Tina Frundt is a survivor of child sex trafficking and founder and executive director of Courtney’s House in Washington, D.C.
“It’s important for members of law enforcement to be trained for what to look for,” said Frundt. “My sex trafficking started at the age of 9 and ended at the age of 26 and without having services available, you end up just staying in that situation. My goal is to educate members of law enforcement so they will know the right questions to ask, they will know the signs to look for. There are more than 200 thousand U.S. citizens who are trafficked every year in this Country and the average age is between 11 and 14 which is why trainings like this are so important.”
“Child abuse professionals leave the seminar better informed with established working relationships to foster a collaborative approach to future investigations with an end goal of protecting our children.” added Kelly.
More than 200 people attended the seminar.