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Senator Hassan, Representative Kuster Deliver Remarks & Tour Newly-Expanded Digital Forensics Lab in Manchester

Expanded Lab Will Help Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement to Investigate Child Sexual Predators

MANCHESTER -- U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and Representative Annie Kuster delivered remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the federal Homeland Security Investigations’ newly expanded Digital Forensic Laboratory in New Hampshire, which will strengthen federal and local law enforcement efforts to investigate crimes against children.

Acting Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations in New England, Michael Krol, and Lieutenant Eric Kinsman, New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Commander, were both present, as well as members of each of their divisions and other federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. Jane Young, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, and Jay McCormack, First Assistant for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire, also attended.

“We all want our kids to be safe, so your work is invaluable in helping protect our children, and protecting them from some of the most dangerous threats imaginable,” Senator Hassan said to the law enforcement officers present.This newly updated facility is going to be instrumental in supporting your efforts. By modernizing this facility and bolstering resources, this renovation is helping to ensure that you all have the best chances for success in your critical mission.”

“We have a responsibility to protect children across New Hampshire from abuse, including online,” said Rep. Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “It was an honor to join today’s ribbon cutting and to discuss the important work of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and their partnership with Homeland Security. This new Digital Forensics Laboratory will help reduce the scourge of sexual violence in our communities and throughout our state. I will continue working with law enforcement officers and advocates to hold perpetrators accountable and keep our children safe.”

As a senior member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Senator Hassan is working to provide law enforcement with the tools they need to address homeland security threats. The National Computer Forensics Institute trains law enforcement in New Hampshire and across the country on how to investigate and prosecute criminals that exploit computers, phones, and the internet. Senator Hassan and colleagues reauthorized this program at the end of last year. The most recent annual defense bill signed into law included Senator Hassan’s bipartisan bill that authorizes the existing Homeland Security Investigations’ Transnational Criminal Investigative Units, which help identify gang members and drug dealers and collect and share intelligence on transnational criminal organizations, and enhances vetting and provides stipends for participants.

As the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, Congresswoman Kuster is leading the effort in Washington to hold sexual abusers accountable, equip our law enforcement officers with the tools they need to catch these criminals, and expand access to support for survivors. Rep. Kuster’s legislation, the END Child Exploitation Act, would make it easier for investigators to identify child sexual abuse images by extending the period of time that companies are required to preserve information about images reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  Senator Hassan joined in introducing this legislation in the Senate.