Retired US Cop scours chat rooms policing the pervs
From Yahoo News 25/01/08:
No one will ever confuse Jim Murray with a teenager. His tall frame, broad shoulders and clipped gray hair give him away for the grandfather he is.
But the 69-year-old retired police chief of this small Missouri town cuts a credible figure as a 13-year-old girl surfing the Web, looking for friends. He knows all the instant-messaging shorthand, the emoticons.
Murray's retirement job from a rural home office has netted 20 arrests since he started in 2002. His latest catch was the biggest: four felony enticement charges against a town mayor, who after his arrest called Murray up and begged him to make the case go away.
Internet child safety experts say police officers like Murray are heroes who do good work at the cost of wading through the muck of online pedophile fantasies.
This quirky story caught my eye on Yahoo news earlier. I remember watching a documentary a year or two ago which followed a branch of the UK police who were tasked with ‘policing the pervs’ of the online world. Murray’s work can only be commended and his contributions in bringing convictions against paedophiles who see chat rooms as rich hunting grounds are clearly invaluable. The article is quick to point out that Murray is not only a seasoned police officer but has also received additional training in computer data recovery. Presumably police forces around the world are keen to avoid garnering vigilante help from the general public in sifting out online paedos. Indeed, unauthorised volunteering could have potentially dangerous and far-reaching consequences. I’m sure more than a few alleged child-predators have already tried arguing that they were merely in the chat-rooms for ‘research purposes’ or were actively combating the scourge of paedophiles hunting out victims online.