$10,000 grant goes toward battling internet crimes against children

Two recent memorandums of understanding approved in Renton.

The Renton Police Department has stepped up its efforts to combat internet crimes against children.

According to a spokesperson, the police department received aid from a grant totaling up to $10,000 from the Seattle Police Department and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Approved in a memorandum of understanding, this initiative aims to address the rise in online crimes targeting vulnerable youth within the Renton community.

These crimes encompass incidents of child sexual exploitation, such as production, distribution, or possession of child sexual exploitation materials. Additionally, these cases can involve incidents of online sextortion, disclosing of intimate images, enticement and sexual tourism, according to the department. These crimes are often reported through electronic service providers or 911 calls.

Since 2020, the Renton Police Department has created a positive relationship with the Washington ICAC Task Force, actively participating as an “affiliate” agency, according to a department spokesperson. RPD has a dedicated detective assigned to handle ICAC cases within Renton’s jurisdiction.

The grant will be used for expenses incurred between Jan. 1, 2024, and Sept. 30, 2024. The money will support the department’s efforts by covering overtime hours essential for managing the current ICAC caseload, assisting other agencies, and acquiring necessary resources for investigations.

The initiative to combat ICAC will extend beyond the grant period, highlighting the ongoing commitment to safeguarding children from online predators, according to the department. The decision to seek financial assistance was triggered by an increase in ICAC cases, according to the spokesperson.

Interpreter services

In a collaborative effort to bolster language interpreter services for residents and guests, the City of Renton and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 2170 Union have reached an agreement, reactivating payment and establishing new terms through a memorandum of understanding.

According to the MOU, the initiative was spurred by both parties’ joint interest in recognizing the vital role of language interpreters in connecting individuals with city programs and operations. The MOU stated that this topic had not been addressed during the last negotiations for the labor contract covering wages, hours, and working conditions from Jan. 1, 2022, to December 31, 2024.

The newly proposed MOU took effect as of the pay period spanning May 16-31, 2024, and was unanimously approved by the Renton City Council. There is no anticipated budgeted impact, with each department utilizing existing resources to provide the agreed-upon monetary benefit to provide interpreter services.