HERO Program

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Computer Forensics Unit

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

U.S. Secret Service’s Tampa Bay Electronic Crimes Task Force (ECTF)

Class participants:
24 wounded veterans from across the United States

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is set to host its first Human Exploitation Rescue Operative (HERO) Child-Rescue Corps training program. The HERO Corps is designed to include wounded, injured and ill U.S. military veterans to receive training in high-tech computer forensics and law enforcement skills, to assist federal agents and local law enforcement in the fight against online child sexual exploitation.

The training will run from January 19, 2016 through February 5, 2016.

The training will take place at the Sheriff’s Administration Building located at 10750 Ulmerton Road in Largo.

On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will welcome 24 veterans from across the nation for a three-week long training program that will introduce them to problem of child exploitation and the field of digital forensics.

This three-week course is phase one of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) year-long HERO training and internship program designed to transition veterans into new careers in law enforcement and digital forensics for the purpose of protecting children against child pornography and sexual exploitation.

After successfully completing the three weeks of training at the Sheriff’s Office, the next phase moves the veterans to the D.C. area for six weeks of intensive computer forensics training, and subsequently 10-months of practical experience assisting investigators with criminal cases.

Upon successful completion of the full one-year program, HERO interns will have the knowledge, skills and experience to apply for a career with federal, state and local police agencies, and other organizations, in the field of computer forensics, giving veterans another chance to fight an enemy - child predators.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was chosen in 2015 to participate in the unique program to help integrate some of our injured/disabled military personnel back into the workforce.  Some of the veterans were injured or disabled during fire fights or by an improvised explosive device (IED) while traveling in military vehicles during deployment.  

The HERO Corps was established in partnership with the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT). Its first class was sworn-in in October of 2013.

The media is invited to cover the welcoming remarks on the opening day of training – at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. The wounded veterans, as well as, a representative from the Sheriff’s Office will be available for interviews.

Posted by Monday, January 18, 2016 4:12:00 PM Categories: General News

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