EXCLUSIVE: How detectives are trying to combat online child predators

Thursday, December 15, 2016 11:31PM
Jim Dolan has the exclusive story.


HAMILTON, New Jersey - It's a crime of shadows, the hunt for online child predators.

It's not an easy job, detectives playing the part, entering chat rooms, to find criminals with twisted sexual desires, whose victims are often too young to fight back, too naive to recognize the danger that lurks online.

Detective Christopher Camm may have the worst job on earth.

He searches the internet for images so horrifying, so chilling, they haunt him.

And what he knows about child predators...

"You know, there's probably someone that you know that is into this stuff," Detective Camm said.

Detective Camm is with the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigative Unit.

From their computers they search the internet for people swapping child pornography or for predators trying to lure children.

"With this job you take it home with you every time you go home. You can't help it, its part of the investigation. You are either thinking about the investigation and how it's progressing or you are thinking about the victims in the investigation that you had to witness that day," Detective Camm said.

The unit recently arrested 42-year-old Ethan Chandler of Belleville, who was allegedly engaging in sex with a 14-year-old boy and was allegedly attempting to lure another child to a meeting.

It may be the most difficult, the most stressful job in law enforcement nowadays. Detectives who work in that unit are encouraged to step away from their computers at least every couple of hours to take a break from it, and to definitely step away from the computers an hour before they go home to their families.

"They do these cases day in and day out and it takes its toll. These are the kinds of things that you can't unremember," said Christopher Porrino, Attorney General, New Jersey.

Attorney General Porrino and Detective Camm say child predators adapt and change with the technology.

"They've become younger, they've become more social, they've become more affluent, there's definitely someone that you've met that has offended this way, and they just may have never got caught," Detective Camm said.

Catching them is arduous and scarring work.

"It's rough, but it is actually very rewarding when you know that you are saving a child," Detective Camm said.
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