POSTED: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 5:16pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 6:47pm
Online child exploitation is just not a problem nationally but here in East Texas.
Longview Police Department have their own department to help fight and catch these online predators.
"We have investigators that are online that are actively looking and protecting children in this area," Officer Kevin Brownlee told us. "If you're an adult looking to meet a child online in a chat room here in East Texas it's a very good possibility you may be chatting with an online investigator," Brownlee added.
With more children joining social networking sites and predators using them to find their next victim, it is important for parents to know what their child is doing online.
"Parents need to keep track of their kids on their computer. The best thing we can tell parents is you can't rely on an online investigator somewhere to keep your kid safe. Its every parents responsibility to keep their children safe. The best thing you can do is keep your computer that has Internet access in a public area of your house," said Officer Brownlee.
"Parents need talk to their kids. They need to talk to their kids about what you are doing online and who you are talking to," Kelli Faussett, Executive Director of the Martin House Child Advocacy Center for Gregg and Harrison County added, "To make their kids be aware that there are predators out there let your kids know cause you want them to be aware before its too late."
Faussett also says its important to get kids who have been exploited help.
A lot of kids I have seen have low self esteem they think they are different because they have been exploited and they get embarrassed they show signs of depression we try to focus on getting them counseling and letting them know they are not different this happens to a lot of kids," Faussett said.
Experts say you should look for signs to determine if your child has been exploited.
For more information on child exploitation contact the Martin House 903-807-0189