SAN DIEGO — Assemblymember Brian Maienschein’s office announced Wednesday $1 million was secured from the State Budget for the San Diego Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

This comes as approximately 1 in 7 children are contacted by an online predator, according to Maienschein’s press release. The intent of the task force is to combat these efforts by helping law enforcement locate and arrest online child predators.

“While most families have household rules to protect their children from engaging in inappropriate online behavior, it is crucial that law enforcement also work to keep these dangerous individuals away from our children,” Maienschein said. “I’m proud to have secured this funding to help the San Diego Police Department continue to diligently investigate and arrest these criminals.”

According to the press release, the task force has seen an increase in child exploitation of over 300%, with a record-breaking 8,161 cases processed in just 2021 alone. Maienschein’s office said this drastic rise in Internet crimes demonstrates a clear need for additional resources to continue protecting children in the region.

“The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force handles thousands of cases and referrals each year,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. “This funding empowers investigators to protect our children by providing the resources to investigate, apprehend, and prosecute criminals.”  

Maienschein’s office said the $1 million grant will help the task force advance technology, update training and hire additional investigators to continue arresting dangerous online predators.