By Mark Ambrogi
Boone Co. Sheriff Mike Nielsen understands how important the topic of Protecting Our Children from Internet Predators is for the public.
The Zionsville Rotary Club and Zionsville Community Schools are partnering to present the program at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center, 1000 Mulberry St. The free event, intended for an adult audience, is billed as a comprehensive look at myths, facts and solutions.
“It is most important to me to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to protect our most valuable asset – our children,” Nielsen said. “Crimes against children are on the rise, and we have to do everything that we can to prevent this type of horrible crime from occurring. When it does occur we need to make sure we do a complete and thorough investigation so that these sick-minded people can face justice in a court of law. We then have to make sure that the emotional stability and well-being of these victims are treated with great care, because their lives are affected forever.”
One of the presenters is Andrew Willmann, who works as a FBI special agent in the Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force in Indianapolis. He specializes in the investigation of child pornography and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.
Joining Willmann as presenters are ZCS technology director Dan Layton and clinical psychologist Michael Johnson, president and executive officer of Broad Ripple Counseling Center. Nielsen and Zionsville Police Chief Robert Knox will join the other three on the panel.
“By participating in these types of forums and discussions, it brings these crimes to the forefront so that parents and children realize that danger does lurk in this society today and the Internet makes it very easy to perpetrate these horrible acts,” Nielsen said. “Partnering with schools such as the Zionsville Community Schools and our federal partners helps us get that message out.”