The Marietta Police Department recently received a statewide award for its efforts in arresting adults allegedly trying to entice children into sex.
The agency was one of many involved with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force this year.
Debbie Garner, the GBI agent in charge of the task force, said that Marietta cops made 17 enticement arrests through Nov. 30 — more arrests than any of the nearly 200 agencies involved in the task force.
Marietta police arrested 15 men on various charges during a child sex sting in June.
Task force officers look to charge people on counts of child pornography, child enticement and child sex trafficking.
The task force made its largest sting, dubbed “Operation Spring Cleaning,” with 23 arrests in Gwinnett County earlier this year.
Overall, the statewide task force made 294 arrests, including 126 for alleged child enticement, through November, cops said.
In the county operation, Marietta police would pretend to be underage girls online and draw out would-be offenders with an in-person meeting.
The department held a seminar this year showing parents how to protect their children online.
They thanked the Kennesaw State University High Tech Unit, Cobb County Sheriff’s Office High Tech Unit and Cobb prosecutors for help in their efforts.
“It takes a mentally tough individual to investigate crimes against children,” Marietta police officials said in a news release. “We appreciate the dedicated, difficult and even ‘ugly’ work they do to help keep our children safe!”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.