More money is necessary to help the Department of Justice continue its effort to combat online child predators according to Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden who went before the state’s Joint Finance Committee on Monday.
Just minutes before facing committee members, Biden jokingly said to a group of reporters that he’s feeling great, beating reporters to the punch who had questions about his health. He didn’t allow reporters to follow up on the statement after the meeting.
Once inside the meeting, Biden along with State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings drew attention to the Child Predator Unit that’s seeing an increasing number of caseloads. As a result, the Department of Justice is looking to hire another investigator and state prosecutor to handle the work and requesting $170-thousand to cover the cost.
“My grandfather used to say ‘show me your budget and I will show you your priorities. These budget requests reflect our priorities, rewarding talented attorneys for their public service and protecting Delaware’s children from the worst of society,” said Biden who helped launch the Child Predator Unit.
In addition, the Department of Justice is also asking for an additional $128-thousand to fund salary increases for attorneys who earned promotions.
Last year, the Child Predator Unit made 51 arrests and secured 34 convictions, beating out the average number of arrests and convictions in 2012 and 2011.
“The more resources we give to the Child Predator Unit, the more predators we will stop from hurting children and the safer we will make our kids,” said Biden.
While the number of hard drives examined by investigators have increased 92 percent from 2008 to 2012, officials point to their success rate that show since 2007 more than 180 predator convictions and 100 victim rescues have been made thanks to the Child Predator Unit.