KOKOMO, Ind. (WLFI) - For most, a desk job means the same humdrum and boring work every day. But there are a few whose employment requires them to do something that few others could, all in an effort to keep kids safe.
Tracking down child molesters and people who prey on children -- that's no ordinary desk job.
A small locked room inside the Kokomo Police Department holds just a small part of the evidence gathered by Detective Jeff Catt and his partner Sergeant Doug Stout. What's on these computers, you don't want to know. But that's the job for the Kokomo Police Department's Forensics Computer Lab.
"When you have a video of a child being molested and crying, that's tough," Catt says.
It's a desk job most wouldn't dream of taking.
Spending hours, sometimes days, in front of a computer screen, looking at images and videos of child pornography with two goals in mind. First, putting the criminal behind bars for as long as possible. Second, seeing if there's any way to identify and save the victim from further exploitation.
While each case is different, not everything is.
"Seeing the same children victimized over and over again, something you wonder where they are at in life, have they recovered, have they received the appropriate help," Stout says.
Stout and Catt make up the two man team at the Kokomo Police Department, part of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force in Indiana. They, along with detectives from other agencies, are called across the state to investigate a wide range of suspected crimes against children.
Catt is the forensics expert. If there is child porn on a computer, cell phone or other electronic device, it's his job to find it, no matter how hidden it may be.
"Technology is always evolving, as soon as you figure out the way the bad guy is doing things, and how they are trading on the internet, there's another way," Catt says.
Stout is the investigator. He develops leads and builds a case that's airtight using special police tools, tracking devices and search warrants.
"It's very gratifying to know that there is a prosecution because it's a rock solid case," Stout says.
A decade ago, a child porn collection was considered huge if there were 100 images and videos stored on a 100 gigabyte hard drive. Now it's typically measured in the terabytes with one case involving almost 2 million files.
But it's not just the size and speeds changing for the criminals, but the methods as well.
"It's good and bad. It's good because although the bad guys change to it, they don't understand how it works either so we learn how it works and that helps us find out what they are doing," Catt says.
Technology also helps the men with devices available to break passwords on many cell phones. Though money is always needed to make sure one's crime-fighting technology doesn't become obsolete.
"Law enforcement was always behind the curve, these companies are getting very good at staying with changes," says Stout.
Helping this team catch up to the criminals, put them behind bars and make your kids and family that much safer.
Because it's no ordinary desk job.
On Friday, News 18 will explore what keeps Catt and Stout coming back to their desk day after day, how they cope and what you can do yourself to keep your family safe.
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