- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - The Moscow Police Department’s new internet crimes officer has investigated more than a dozen cases since the post was created nine months ago, police said.

Capt. Roger Lanier said there has been a national trend of using electronics in crimes, and Latah County is no exception, The Lewiston Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2enPZhn). He said the Moscow Police Department has seen an increase of more than 300 percent in the amount of electronics officers need to process since 2013.

Lanier said the city realized they needed an electronics forensic investigator in 2014. The Moscow City Council approved the creation of the position and Eric Kjorness was appointed to that role.

“I really am happy, and think it’s great that the department created this position,” Kjorness said. “It’s needed, obviously. And I enjoy doing it.”

Kjorness serves as Moscow’s sole police officer looking into online child pornography and other electronic crimes. Since he moved to the position his investigations have secured two guilty pleas, passed five cases along to state courts and one to federal court. He is also currently working on six additional cases, and has referred three investigations to other jurisdictions.

In order to secure guilty pleas, Kjorness relies on a number of tips for where to start looking. Sometimes, criminals will share files directly with one of his accounts on file sharing networks, other times he gets referrals from the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children, which attempts to identify the victims in images and videos of child porn.

Kjorness said dealing with crimes that affect children can be hard, but he takes solace in getting the offenders into custody.

“I like to think of myself as preventing that,” Kjorness said. “If we can get this person convicted, get him registered as a sex offender, get him some treatment … I think we can prevent somebody from being a victim.”

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Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

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