NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, state Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr. and Verizon teamed up Thursday (Oct. 4) to promote Internet safety and help keep children safe online.
Cooper led a forum on child Internet safety, held at the Nashville Public Library and at which law enforcement officials, elected representatives and Verizon officials also participated.
Verizon announced at the forum that it will provide a $25,000 grant to Delete Online Predators, a statewide public education awareness program operated by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.
"Internet crimes don't occur within the confines of a city or county lines; these crimes span boundaries between communities and states," said TACP President Kim Wallace, who serves as chief of police in Dover, Tenn., and was one of the forum panelists. "A strong educational campaign will complement enforcement efforts as we coordinate with local, state and federal authorities to police the Internet."
She added: "We are thrilled to have Verizon as a partner and recognize their commitment to Internet safety. We appreciate their confidence in our association's program with the award of today's grant."
In addition to the Tennessee attorney general and Wallace, other forum panelists were: Michelle Robinson, Verizon senior vice president, Southern region; State Rep. Les Winningham, House Education Committee chair; Kevin Allen, Knox County assistant district attorney; Tom Evans, Knoxville Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; Kevin Williams, special agent, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and Michael McKeehan, director, Internet and technology policy, Verizon.
The participants discussed the challenges of keeping children safe on the Internet and the issues facing families in dealing with online safety and security.
"The Internet is a wonderful educational tool for our youth and a fun, easy way for them to interact with people their own age," Cooper said. "But it's important for parents, educators and our youth to be aware of the potential dangers and know how to recognize and report suspicious activity to the proper authorities."
The Delete Online Predators program (www.deletepredators.com) is designed to raise awareness of online dangers that students throughout Tennessee face and to provide necessary training to law enforcement officials. In addition to supporting this program, Verizon also announced that it has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga for its Best iMage Forward Campaign, which will offer work shops for middle and high school students on Online Safety and Putting Your Best Online Image Forward.
"Providing a safe online environment for children is a priority for Verizon," said Robinson. "We are proud to partner with the Tennessee attorney general's office and other state and local leaders to bring this valuable information to the community."
Verizon is engaged in Internet safety on multiple fronts. The company provides customers with an industry-leading slate of online cyber-security tools and education programs to empower parents and children. Verizon also works closely with law enforcement to assist with investigations involving crimes against children, and with partners such as iSAFE (http://www.isafe.org/verizon/) to deliver tools and information to various segments of the community.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 62 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.