Electronic crimes task force receives award

The University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs announced that the Dakota County Electronic Crimes Task Force has been selected for its Local Government Innovation Award at a ceremony to be held on Dec. 10.

“We are honored and excited to receive this award. Dakota County law enforcement is blazing a trail with this task force, creating a template for law enforcement agencies throughout the state,” said Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie. The task force is a joint-powers agreement among the county and eight local law enforcement agencies.

The unit increases law enforcement’s arsenal against electronic crimes. “There are no fences around Dakota County,” explained Leslie. “There has been an increase in peer-to-peer sharing of child pornography, identity theft, and financial crimes, not to mention the nexus with violent crime. This task force’s work allows us to incorporate a trail of information associated with cell phones, digital media, and email, which enhances our investigations and leads to more convictions.”

The Dakota County Electronic Crimes Task Force is just completing its first year. It was created with a financial commitment from each of the partner cities, and personnel supplied by the Apple Valley Police Department, Burnsville Police Department, and the Sheriff’s Office.

The task force reflects the sheriff’s commitment to building strong partnerships with the county’s public safety allies. “We are all better and more effective when we work together. Criminals don’t ponder jurisdiction or geography, and we shouldn’t handcuff ourselves over those lines,” added Leslie. “Cyber threats are only going to get worse and that’s why we created this countywide unit dedicated solely to investigating electronic offenses. I’m proud of the work the Electronic Crimes Task Force is doing, and I thank all the partner cities for making this a truly effective tool throughout Dakota County.”

The task force includes the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Farmington, Hastings, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul, and West St. Paul.


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