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To catch a predator: Donation aids KPD in fight against online predators

Nick Shepherd • Apr 28, 2013 at 11:47 AM

KINGSPORT — Catching an online predator has been made easier for Kingsport law enforcement thanks to a generous donation from a grieving widow.

A new software and hardware computer package, called “Cop-in-a-Box,” was donated to the Kingsport Police Department by Paula Taylor on Friday. Taylor dedicated the unit in memory of her late husband, Cary Taylor, who was a former lawyer and juvenile judge.

“Cary was first and foremost a family man,” said an emotional Taylor as she tried to hold back tears. “He truly cared about young people and they got that. He couldn’t stand the thoughts of a child being mistreated.”

The donation includes hardware, software, monitor, printer and training for investigators on how to effectively utilize the system.

The “Cop-in-a-Box” system is used to battle those who use the Internet to produce and trade child pornography and to lure children away from their homes using email, chat rooms, online gaming and social networks.

The system has one use and that is the tracking down of sexual predators on the Internet. It was designed for this purpose by the United States Department of Justice, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

“The scripts are pretty well controlled by the principles of law and by the Department of Justice,” said Ron Porter, director of research for Safe Surfin’ Foundation. “You cannot go out and trap, in other words.”

According to the Safe Surfin’ Foundation, 93 percent of all children use the Internet and 75 percent of those children share personal information about themselves or their families online. One in five teens have experienced unwanted sexual solicitation online and over $3 billion is spent on child pornography each year, according to the foundation.

Taylor discovered the “Cop-ina-Box” program when she attended a showing of the movie “Finding Faith.” She saw the film at First Baptist Church in Kingsport. The film was made to help educate audiences on the dangers of predators lurking on the Internet.

For her, it was something she believed her husband would have gotten behind.

“I think he would be honored that this gift will help children and our law enforcement,” Taylor said.

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