Veterans to assist in child predator investigations - WSPA.com

Veterans to assist in child predator investigations

Posted: Updated:
Facebook photo: Justin Gaertner Facebook photo: Justin Gaertner
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa will be part of a new federal pilot program that trains veterans to help track down child predators and assist agents with investigations into child pornography and online sexual exploitation.

Two veterans of the 17 involved in the "HERO Corps" will work in Tampa, one of 14 cities involved in the year-long program. David Blau and Justin Gaertner, both veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps, are expected to start work by the end of the month.

The veterans will be taking leads and doing computer forensic work in the Tampa Homeland Security Investigations office.

Gaertner, a combat engineer who is from Tampa and lost both of his legs after being wounded by IEDs in Afghanistan, said he looks at his new job as "just transferring the knowledge and skill set I had from the Marine Corps to the HERO Corps."

The work with ICE Homeland Security Investigations also gives Gaertner another chance to serve.

"I thought my service had gotten cut short, and I never thought that I would be able to go back into the field and continue the fight, continue the service to my country," Gaertner told News Channel 8.

Combat veterans are also specially equipped to deal with the difficult and often disturbing job of investigating crimes against children.

"These individuals that have been overseas fighting for our country, they possess mental toughness," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa. "They possess the psychological skills needed, they've been through the horrors of war."

The yearlong pilot program is being funded with private sector money and a grant from an individual to the National Association to Protect Children, an HSI spokeswoman said.

Related Content: Check out Tampa's Homeland Security team
 

 

 





  • NewsMore>>

  • Lakeland PD detective arrested on DUI charge

    Lakeland PD detective arrested on DUI charge

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:52 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:52:02 GMT
    Lane, 41, was hired by the Lakeland Police Dept. in October 1996. Lane, 41, was hired by the Lakeland Police Dept. in October 1996.
    A detective with the Lakeland Police Department has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest Friday night on a driving under the influence charge.Billy Lane, 41, was hired by LPD in October 1996.
    A detective with the Lakeland Police Department has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest Friday night on a driving under the influence charge.Billy Lane, 41, was hired by LPD in October 1996.
  • New leader at Special Ops Command Center in Tampa

    New leader at Special Ops Command Center in Tampa

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-07-26 16:32:37 GMT
    Gen. Joseph Votel will assume command next month. Gen. Joseph Votel will assume command next month.
    Army Gen. Joseph Votel will assume leadership of the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, replacing the man widely credited with planning the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.Votel will assume leadership of Special Operations Command from Navy Adm. William McRaven.
    Army Gen. Joseph Votel will assume leadership of the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, replacing the man widely credited with planning the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.Votel will assume leadership of Special Operations Command from Navy Adm. William McRaven.
  • Sarasota teen shot to death by unknown assailant

    Sarasota teen shot to death by unknown assailant

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-26 15:42:16 GMT
    Deputies from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrived at the crime scene early Saturday morning. Deputies from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrived at the crime scene early Saturday morning.
    Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office are asking the for public’s help in identifying and locating a murder suspect.Justin Jervon Ates, 19, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest early Saturday morning.
    Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office are asking the for public’s help in identifying and locating a murder suspect.Justin Jervon Ates, 19, suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest early Saturday morning.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.