Media, PA – District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer has announced the creation of a new Child Abuse and Exploitation Task Force. According to DA Stollsteimer, the Task Force has been created to ensure that all child abuse and child exploitation cases in Delaware County are handled consistently and thoroughly, by detectives, officers and attorneys with the specialized training and resources that such cases require. In announcing the Task Force, Stollsteimer said “It is time that we bring the best training and resources that we possess to the investigation of cases involving the abuse and exploitation of children.”
The Task Force is comprised of Assistant District Attorneys from the District Attorney’s office, led by Chris Boggs, Chief of the Special Victims Unit, Sergeant Ken Bellis, the head of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), Sergeant Robin Clark, the lead detective from the Child Abuse Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division (CID), and nine officers from municipal police departments throughout the County who have a demonstrated track record with this type of work. The Task Force will also collaborate with its invaluable partners: Children and Youth Services (CYS), Crozier, Women Against Rape (WAR), the Delaware County Child Advocacy Center (CAC), a program of the Family Support Line, Dr. June Elcock-Messam, M.D. of Media Pediatrics, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The DA stated that the creation of the Task Force “represents a significant paradigm shift in the way the County approaches child abuse and exploitation cases. In the past, cases have typically been investigated by the municipal police department in which events were alleged to have occurred. While some departments have had the resources to provide specialized training for its officers, others do not. As a result, there was no consistency in the way these cases – involving the most vulnerable members of our community – would be treated. My hope for the Task Force is that by offering regular and consistent training, and with frequent opportunities among the task force members for collaboration, we will be better able to ensure the safety of our children.”
In discussing how the municipal police officers were selected for the Task Force, Stollsteimer said, “the officers have been selected to serve on this county-wide task force because of their demonstrated skill and dedication to protecting children in Delaware County. As the District Attorney and as a father, I can’t say enough about the men and women of law enforcement who do this most difficult work every day.”
The Task Force members were sworn in by President Judge Kelly on Monday, August 31. The members of the Task Force have participated in an initial introductory training conducted by Crystal Gray, Hannah Fitzgerald, and Jovanni Velez, all from the Child Advocacy Center, Sergeant Bellis of ICAC, Assistant District Attorneys Chris Boggs and Kristen Kemp, Josephine Parker from CYS, and Candice Linehan, Assistant Director of WAR. The Task Force is expected to meet monthly, with a focus on training and collaboration.
The District Attorney and the Criminal Investigations Division remind anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity to call 911 immediately and provide the most specific and accurate details possible to assist law enforcement agencies investigating the call for service.
Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, Margie McAboy, Public Information Officer, 610.579.0429