Texas A&M University-Central Texas will host the “Technology Related Crimes Against Children Conference” on Nov. 28. The free two-day training conference is facilitated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Texas Regional Office.

“This training specifically is funded by a grant by the Texas governor’s office. It allows us to conduct six of these conferences a year across the state of Texas. We’ve been doing this training since 2015,” said outreach coordinator Victoria Walker.

“One of the things we recognize across the state is that sometimes we have smaller law enforcement department or agencies that are unaware of some of the resources that are available to assist them in these Texas investigations,” Walker said.

Attendees will receive training and information from various federal, state and local agencies to include: Office of the Attorney General, Texas Department of Public Safety, Assistant United States Attorney with the Department of Justice.

“We’ve noticed in the past that sometimes we have folks that think its law enforcement driven … It’s more about people who are actively communicating or engaging with youth that are at high-risk,” Walker said.

The conference is intended to assist people who work or plan on working with youth who might fall victim to online exploitation and sex trafficking.

“It’s very helpful for let’s say mental health professionals to have that kind of background knowledge to better support the youth they are working with,” Walker said.

Current and potential professionals engaged in the investigation, response and prosecution of crimes against children that utilize internet technologies are encouraged to attend. If participants stay for a minimum of six hours of instruction they can receive Texas Commission on Law Enforcement course credits.

The conference starts both days at 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Day two concludes with a panel of local agencies. Local attendees will gain information on the types of crimes that occur in the area and resources agencies have used to help children.

For more information about the conference contact Walker at vmwalker@ncmec.org.

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