Once again it appears that a candidate for public office has sought to distort the record of the Wisconsin Department of Justice for his own political gain — this time assailing Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and DOJ special agents under her supervision whose hard work fighting Internet sex predators of children is second to none in the nation.
Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher, appearing at a State Capitol news conference today, grossly misrepresented the DOJ record, falsely asserting that the department is not addressing this serious issue. This falsehood requires an official department response to set the record straight.
Setting the Record Straight:
For the second half of 2005, DOJ’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force took in 277 complaints leading to 123 subpoenas, 63 search warrants, and 59 arrests.
The total arrests for 2005 were 120 — the best record in the country.
The numbers don’t lie.
DOJ ICAC agents work hard on a daily basis to achieve these successes and help keep Wisconsin kids safer and parents better informed. Any assault on their efforts or integrity is grossly misleading — a disservice to them and to the citizens of Wisconsin.
Arrests have increased significantly since 2003, when 11 were reported, and 2004, when 38 were reported. DOJ’s efforts are paying off, and the result is greater safety for Wisconsin children — and swift justice to those who would prey on them.
In addition, DOJ has sponsored child-Internet-safety public awareness campaigns, seminars, agent presentations, as well as extensive ongoing investigations and enforcement statewide. Ironically, Waukesha County is a participant in the DOJ ICAC program. DOJ provides training and technical support to their local efforts.
The Department of Justice is fully committed to building on the success of its investigative efforts, and to its ongoing work with local Wisconsin law enforcement to keep our children safe.