FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — The National Child Protection Task Force (NCPTF) is expanding its service to better help identify and locate traffickers and predators. The newly created team will enhance and support the primary investigators.
The plan, which is still a work in progress and yet to be officially named, will include another layer of technology. “There are six volunteers who are based in Fayetteville and work in private technology firms. The group will be trained locally so the team can be better developed,” said Kevin Metcalf, founder of the Fayetteville-based National Child Protection Task Force.
Along with planning, the website will be revamped to show the expansion team of the newly formed technology professionals. Metcalf said, “white hat hackers are joining with us to enhance our ability to identify and locate traffickers and child predators operating on the internet and on mobile platforms.”
NCPTF offers investigators from across the country the tools needed to “identify production” and “contact offenders.” One 2019 letter of acknowledgment from Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo, New York stated that Metcalf’s help “…led to the identification and rescue of multiple child victims.”
Metcalf suggests one way for parents to stay ahead on online predators is to do more relationship building with their children.
Minors are specifically being targeted, pedophiles are incredibly active on every platform — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Venmo. They pose as teenagers in an effort to establish relationships with young people, according to Metcalf.
“What is needed is for parents to get back into relationships with their children. In my opinion, forget the phone, forget the apps, and focus on relationship-building with your children,” said Metcalf.