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Keeping kids safe from Internet predators

Thanks to the support of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, parents can rest a sight bit easier when their children begin tapping away on their computers.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper recently announced what was once considered "entrapment" is now legal and officers of the law can impersonate children on the Internet.

The purpose of the Legislation, NCGS 14-202.3, is to help law enforcement capture child predators before they capture our children.

It is now a felony for those who mean harm to our children to solicit an officer as they pose as a child while on the Internet.

Some people may disagree with the new legislation, but I think it is not only appropriate but absolutely necessary. For too long, these sexual deviants have preyed upon thousands of children in this state alone. For far too long, they have hidden behind computer screens using phone names and identification to practice their evil ways.

Children alone on a computer, while mom and dad are at work for instance, are often looking for someone to talk with; someone who will share their thoughts and dreams.

With the number of child sexual exploitation cases in this state skyrocketing, it is clear that something needs to happen to put a stop to these marauders.

I hope many people will join me in sending a message to the Attorney General, supporting this effort to keep our kids safe. Gov. Mike Easley has signed the legislation into law and the State Bureau of Investigation is backing it up with their internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

As previously stated, posing as a "victim" was once considered entrapment, but when it comes to saving a child, is there any act too strong? Is there any law that should not be changed if it saves the life of one child?

Personally, I don't think so and I have sent my email to the attorney general at www.ncdoj.com to show my support of the new law.

How many parents out there know how to protect their child while they use the internet? Not all of us, I'm sure, and those "screens" don't always work. I am grateful, on behalf of my granddaughters, that the attorney general is offering a video and resource guide for parents. The video and tips are available at www.ncdoj.com and select "internet safety" from the "Jump To" menu at the top of the page. The information is free.

Besides that, we must commend Sheriff Ed Webb and Deputy Richard Haynes for the active roles they have accepted in offering to discuss Internet safety for children at churches, PTA meetings and other gatherings where people want to learn how to protect their kids on-line.