Linda Reich, founder and president of the kNOT TODAY Foundation and wife of Indianapolis Colts Coach Frank Reich, said that in the second year of the nonprofit, she wants to further the group’s mission and vision.
“Our vision is to protect the beauty and innocence of childhood throughout the country. We are doing that to mitigate sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children throughout our country,” she said.
Reich said she realized that child exploitation and trafficking isn’t just an overseas problem or a problem that is more present in border states.
“It’s alive and well here in the state of Indiana,” she said.
kNOT TODAY recently helped Ascent 121, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization that works to provide trauma recovery services to teens, renovate a 17,000-square-foot building on the southeast side of Indianapolis to further its services. kNOT TODAY also recently sat down with local police forces and task forces including the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Fishers Police Dept. to discuss resources and areas of partnership.
kNOT TODAY recently purchased a yellow Lab named Hunter to work as a law enforcement K9 and assist departments by finding SIM cards.
“(Law enforcement) can take the dogs into an arena or space and they will sniff out SIM cards. You know how small SIM cards are,” Reich said. “Sometimes there are hundreds and hundreds of SIM cards stored with horrific content of children being sexually abused throughout the world. So, we purchased a dog and also are looking to assist organizations and police forces locally with mobile digital forensic units.”
Fishers Police Dept. representatives said the department is looking forward to working with kNOT TODAY but that a plan hasn’t been set yet.
“These dogs are highly trained in areas where human beings cannot find some of these SIM cards, and these dogs can sniff them out how to identify any type of perpetrator and nefarious links in Indianapolis and the greater metropolitan area,” Reich said.
Reich said kNOT TODAY was formed not to be a direct service organization but rather to assist other organizations by providing platforms, resources and networking opportunities to help those organizations acquire resources and generate awareness of the child exploitation issues.
For more, visit knottoday.org/about-us/.