The Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force is responsible for investigating technology related offenses, involving children as victims, for 22 southwest Missouri counties. These counties include Barry, Barton, Benton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Ozark, Polk, St. Clair, Stone, Taney, Vernon, Webster, and Wright counties.
The 2019 calendar year was extremely busy for the SMCCTF, with 899 cases being opened. This is a 37% increase over 2018. Included in those reports, were 519 Cyber Tips being assigned to the SMCCTF, from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. This is a 48% increase over 2018.
A total of 804 children were identified as victims in 2019, with 132 of these children, coming from the southwest Missouri area. 114 individual offenders were arrested in 2019, compared to 85 arrests in 2018. The SMCCTF executed 174 search warrants and caused 581 investigative subpoenas to be issued last year.
Computer forensic examiners of the SMCCTF, conducted examinations of 956 cell phones, and 190 computers, which resulted in more than 179 Terabytes of data being analyzed, in support of the investigations above. During 2019, the Task Force conducted 95 internet safety presentations, to more than 460,000 Missouri citizens, and provided training to approximately 2,500 allied professionals, and more than 1,600 Missouri law enforcement officers.