January 2012

The Greater Wheeling Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) will hold its Wednesday, January 11, 2012 meeting at the White Palace at Wheeling Park, Wheeling WV. White Palace is located inside Wheeling Park at 1801 National Rd, Wheeling, WV 26003 (map via bing).

Speakers and Topic

 Sexual Predator Internet Initiative

Bethesda , Ohio Police Chief Tim Zdanksi will give a presentation on the Sexual Predator Internet Initiative (SPII) Task Force.


In 2007 the Bethesda Police Department developed the Sexual Predator Internet Initiative (SPII) Task Force to address the alarming increase in online predator activity. In conjunction with the Martins Ferry Police Department and funded by an Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, the SPII has developed twin labs used to investigate crimes against children and perform computer forensics.

 Two officers, Officer Jeremy Campbell of Bethesda and Officer Charles “Chip” Ghent of Martins Ferry, attended the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center for computer forensics and began chatting on various social network sites.

 A police officer logs on as an underage decoy and waits while invitations to chat pop up all over the screen. The officer begins conversing with a couple of the names, but doesn’t initiate any sexual discussion. The predator becomes more explicit with sex chat and many times offers to send materials to the child. The police are saving and backing up all chat sessions.

 When the predator sends explicit information to the decoy, he has crossed the line, and police create his evidence file. Using tracking software and contacting his internet service provider, police are able to find out the perpetrator’s name, address, police records and any other pertinent information. They send this file to the county prosecuting attorney’s office. Bethesda Police Chief Tim Zdanski says an investigation can take anywhere from two days to two months from the time of initial contact.

 The proximity of the lab and the elimination of delays in processing evidence are boons to the prosecutors’ offices. In Belmont County, Prosecuting Attorney Chris Berhalter finds that most of his cases are using this lab exclusively now that it’s up and running. The ability to keep the evidence and investigation within the county and talk with the officers collecting and processing the evidence cuts hours — even days — from the investigation and prosecution. His office is able to write warrants and get the offenders off the street and off the computer. He translates that into protecting more children.

 Chief Zdanski will show some of the technology involved in this process and talk about the success the program has had.

Event Schedule

We will meet on the first floor of theWhitePalace. Social time and registration will be from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. The buffet style dinner will begin at approximately 6:00 p.m. and the presentation will start after the meal. Cost for the evening is $18.00 for AITP members, $10.00 for AITP student members, and $23.00 for guests.

We will have our 50/50 drawing and door prizes for those in attendance.

RSVP to Join Us

E-mail Karen Kovacs at kkovacs@dwc.org to RSVP. Reservations are essential to ensure there is sufficient food and seating available for our group. Please respond early to give the restaurant ample time to prepare. No shows will be billed for the reserved meal.


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