View of the Ballard bridge from upper Queen Anne

Officially launched in 1998, the WA ICAC TF is a federal- and state-funded multijurisdictional alliance tasked with catching criminals who use technology to deliberately prey on some of our most vulnerable community members: our kids.

With the Seattle Police Department at its helm, the WA ICAC TF proactively and reactively investigates the rapidly-growing number of technology-facilitated crimes against children. In addition to investigating and prosecuting these crimes, WA ICAC TF promotes and provides internet safety education to the public, engages in officer training to hone investigatory skills, supports officer wellness, and more.

The numbers reflect the need:

· Compared to 2022, the number of children enticement cases increased 76% in 2023
· Cyber Tips are up on average from 200 a month in 2020, to 900 a month in 2022, to 1,156 in 2023
· Case referrals from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have more than doubled since 2019

Hit the button below to read more about a recent case in which Seattle police arrested a 29-year-old man on child exploitation charges after an online tip led them to his home.

As ICAC TF lead agency, the Seattle Police Department administers the Task Force in various ways, including triaging all case referrals, assigning those that require investigation to affiliate agencies, facilitating and providing investigator training, purchasing equipment and software licenses to help support the affiliate agencies across the state of Washington, and hosting the Northwest Regional ICAC Conference, which takes place annually in Redmond.

For more information on the Seattle Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, please visit the Seattle Police Department website.

The Seattle Police Foundation supports the important work of ICAC in a variety of ways. We partner with the WA ICAC TF in planning and coordinating the NW ICAC & Technology Conference, which every October provides highly specialized training for law enforcement investigators, digital forensic examiners, and prosecutors. Additionally, we are currently pursuing grant funding, sponsorships, and in-kind donations to secure new state-of-the-art forensic tools to help enhance the Unit’s ability to efficiently investigate while preserving investigator wellness.

Visit the NW Regional ICAC Conference website for information about the 2024 NW Regional ICAC Conference. The WA ICAC Task Force is currently looking for sponsors for the 2024 conference. If you have questions or are interested, or know anyone who would like to help, please reach out to ICAC Strategic Advisor Kelly Crouch at: Kelly.Crouch@seattle.gov.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Safer_Internet_Day_Logo-2024-95.pngInternet-facilitated exploitation crimes against children, teens and vulnerable young adults with differing abilities are a scourge on our communities and are rising exponentially across the state of Washington. This alarming trend shows no signs of dropping or even leveling off, resulting in strained budgets, exceeded investigative capacity, and detrimental case backlogs.

This is why it is important that everyone do their part to keep children safe on the internet.

Internet safety starts at home! There are many things that parents can do to help keep their children safe online and there are some great resources to guide this crucial effort. In the last five years, online crimes against children have risen at unprecedented rates and continue to skyrocket. Please take the time to be proactive and vigilant in your quest to keep the internet safe for your children and others.

The WA ICAC TF consists of 138 affiliate agencies, including county, state, tribal, local, and federal law enforcement, along with prosecutorial partners. The Task Force’s affiliate agencies range from larger agencies such as the Washington State Patrol and King County Sheriff’s Office, to smaller departments, like the Warden Police Department and Asotin County Sheriff’s Office. The WA ICAC TF also includes five tribal agencies. Many of the affiliate agencies depend on the funding that the WA ICAC TF receives to pay for training, overtime, equipment, and other investigative needs.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Nala-e1706122762967.jpegThis is Seattle Police Department K9 Nala, SPD’s only Electronic Storage Detection K9 and one of only two ESD K9s in the state of Washington.

K9 Nala works alongside her handler, an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit detective who serves on the Child Sexual Exploitation Task Force. As of December 2023, Nala and her handler had been deployed on roughly 75 operations, where she has located numerous devices that were hidden or overlooked during the primary searches.

ESD K9s like Nala are sensitive to a chemical compound called triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) which is found in things like cell phones, USB drives, memory cards, laptops, hard drives and more. Nala is excellent at her job and can detect TPPO even when a device has been craftily hidden.

She is rewarded with food every time she finds a device.

She trains continuously to keep her skills sharp, locating between five and seven hidden devices per day.

She loves pets and belly rubs!

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The Northwest Regional ICAC Conference provides an invaluable forum where law enforcement, industry, and solution providers can meet, exchange perspectives and improve collaboration so they can continue their mutual goal of fighting against internet crimes against children.

This conference serves as an opportunity for SPD to stand as a leader in the fight against child sexual exploitation. The ICAC Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing over 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. These agencies are engaged in both proactive and reactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Since its inception, the ICAC Program has been responsible for the investigation of more than 3.9 million complaints involving child pornography, nearly 34,000 complaints involving sex tourism and sex trafficking, and 29,867 complaints involving child non-familial sexual exploitation.

If you are interested in becoming a 2024 sponsor, please visit the NW ICAC & Technology Conference website.

9th Annual NW ICAC & Technology Conference
October 2 – October 9, 2023

The ninth annual NW ICAC & Technology Conference took place October 3 – 5, 2023 in Redmond, Washington, welcoming investigators and industry professionals from all over the world.

The annual conference is coordinated by the Seattle Police Department-led Washington State Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, in partnership with Microsoft, which serves as the host. Since its inception in 2015, Seattle’s ICAC conference has become known as a model of excellence, effectively blending collaboration and innovation to try and curb the exponential growth of technology-facilitated crimes against children.

The Seattle Police Foundation is proud to serve as the fiscal agent on behalf of the WA ICAC TF, accepting sponsorships from both private and corporate partners.

The 2023 conference was made possible through generous sponsorships from Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), Cellebrite, Google, and Microsoft. The WA ICAC TF’s national training partners Griffeye, SEARCH, the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC), and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) all donated their time and expertise.

The resource-dense conference welcomed 900 attendees, 34 exhibitors, and 170 speakers from various corners of the world, who came together to learn, network, and collaborate, all with the end goal of advancing the fight against criminals who use the internet to prey on kids and vulnerable young adults. Plenary speakers included SPD Assistant Chief of Police Tom Mahaffey, Microsoft General Manager and Chief Digital Safety Officer Courtney Gregoire, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman, and a keynote speaker who reminded all in attendance of the importance of their work before sharing their story.

This conference and others like it provide a vital forum for investigators, forensic examiners, social workers, nonprofit professionals, technology professionals, and others who work in this space to connect, build relationships, and work together. The conference is free for attendees, and the WA ICAC TF is committed to providing grants to smaller agencies that don’t have travel budgets.

This year, thanks to our generous sponsors, the WA ICAC TF was able to cover lodging expenses for 65 attendees, who otherwise may not have been able to attend.

In October 2024, the NW ICAC & Technology Conference celebrates its 10th anniversary. If you are interested in sponsoring this milestone event, please contact ICAC Strategic Advisor Kelly Crouch at: Kelly.Crouch@seattle.gov. For more information about the conference, visit the website. For more details about the role of the Seattle Police Foundation, visit SPF’s ICAC webpage.

8th Annual NW ICAC & Technology Conference 

The 2022 NW Regional Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) conference was an incredible success! Once again, SPF was proud to be a partner in this important conference. This year’s event took place during the first week in October, and boasted record attendance levels, new features, 27 exhibitor tables, and a variety of educational sessions taught by experts in the field.

The three-day conference welcomed a total of 672 attendees and featured 118 speakers who presented a total of 130 sessions, including a course on ‘Advanced Interview Techniques’ by world renowned forensic psychologist Dr. Joe Sullivan. A known expert in his field, Dr. Sullivan has worked in law enforcement since 1996, assisting with investigations into crimes against children.

We’d like to thank this year’s team of conference sponsors, including Cellebrite, Google, OUR, Griffeye, Meta, SEARCH, NCJTC, and Fox Valley Technical College. Additional thanks goes out to our 27 exhibitors, whose contribution and presence at the conference allows our attendees to learn about the newest industry-leading tools and technology to assist in these investigations.

As lead agency of the WA ICAC Task Force, SPD strives to keep this annual conference free for attendees to ensure its accessibility to all who wish to attend, no matter the agency size or budget, which is why sponsorship is so key. This conference is a unique opportunity to leverage collaboration and expertise among investigators, prosecutors, advocates, educators, tech industry professionals, and all others in the arena of keeping kids safe in our region, across the nation, and around the world.

Over 15 countries were represented at this year’s conference.

Sponsorship is crucial to the continued success of this conference and our team is grateful for the generosity of the conference sponsors. Because of this resounding support, the WA ICAC TF was able to provide grants for hotel/travel expenses to roughly 60 smaller agencies in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, that wished to attend but lacked travel budget.

Lastly, huge thanks to conference partner Microsoft for hosting!