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IN BRIEF: GBI's child porn unit earns award

GBI's child porn unit earns award

DECATUR -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's High Technology Investigations Unit has been presented with the 2010 Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

The award is in recognition of exceptional innovation and excellence in the area of criminal investigations.

In presenting the award IACP President Chief Michael Carroll stated: "The HTIU's broad, far-reaching initiative simultaneously addressed several aspects of the child pornography problem, including public education, law enforcement training and investigations. Their approach involved numerous law enforcement agencies and other resources both nationwide and in Georgia in a coordinated, effective effort."

HTIU, which was expanded in 2007 as part of Gov. Sonny Perdue's Child Safety Initiative, focuses on investigating Internet crimes against children to include possession, distribution or manufacturing of child pornography images on a computer or using the Internet to entice children for sexual or indecent purposes.

Housed within HTIU is the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a statewide task force of more than 100 local agencies whose goal is to identify those involved in the child porn trade. In 2008, the task force made 109 arrests and 164 in 2009. This year, 143 arrests have been made.

GSP troopers, motor carrier officers to collect Toys for Tots

ATLANTA -- Col. Bill Hitches, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, has announced that his department will once more be collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program. Troopers, officers with the department's Motor Carrier Compliance Division and Capitol Police officers are teaming up with the United States Marine Corps Reserve to help with the campaign.

Donated toys should be new and unwrapped and may be dropped off at collection points between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

Collection boxes are at the 48 Georgia State Patrol posts across the state, in the lobby of the Public Safety headquarters on East Confederate Avenue in Atlanta and at the Capitol Police Services office at 130 Memorial Drive near the Georgia State Capitol.

For a complete list of GSP posts and addresses, visit the Georgia Department of Public Safety website at htpp://dps.georgia.gov.

-- From staff reports