Elected officials working
together to positively
manage community
growth.

Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2013

Attendees

  • Kelly Aberasturi
  • John Bechtel
  • Tom Dale
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • Brad Holton
  • Gene Nelson
  • Jim Reynolds
  • Steve Rule
  • Rick Yzaguirre

Staff and Guests

  • Detective Tim Brady, Boise Police Dept.
  • Vic Dominguez, Chairman – Internet Crimes against Children Coalition
  • Jeff Laughlin, Finance Director – Internet Crimes against Children Coalition
  • Detective Jason Pietrzak, Boise Police Dept.
  • Bill Larsen – TVP

Open Discussion

Steve welcomed everyone to Caldwell for the March meeting of the Partnership. He asked the members if they had any legislative issues they wanted to discuss.

Tom said the big thing is the Cities, Counties, and the School Districts really worked together and he thinks we got a good win on the personal property tax legislation. It is going to the Governor’s desk and as far as he understands, it holds us all harmless.

Steve said, he particularly liked that the Personal Property Tax legislation didn’t affect the county at all and Cities and Schools are feeling the same way. The $20 million they had cut out did help small business. He said that for those that know him, he always tries to error on the side of business and industry.

Tom continued that the other thing that happed was good news, concerned the SAUSA Project. We did not get everything we asked for but obtained an extra $10,000 from the State for the SAUSA budget from the Department of Corrections.

Tom said that one thing got killed a week or so ago was a bill proposed from Rep. Luker in Boise that would have required Cities over 50,000 population to create districts for their City Council elections. Only citizens living in that district would have been allowed to vote for candidates in the district. From those of us in Meridian, Boise, Nampa and soon to be Caldwell that would have been an incredible headache setting up the districts, making sure the right people are voting in the right districts and qualified candidates are running in each district. This bill was held in committee and it ended up being a good win for the Cities.

Tammy stated that she is the Chair of the AIC drug task force. They have been working with the legislature on a Senate Resolution SCR112. It’s up for debate in the House and has already passed the Senate. This is a resolution that takes a stand against the legalization of marijuana in any form. The medical marijuana thing is a guise to get to legalization in full. We don’t think there are any problems passing it in the House. If the members have a mind to, let your House Representatives know of your support for passage. She continued that the pro marijuana forces do have citizen initiative petitions approved through the Attorney General and they will start going door to door. It is important for us to get out ahead of that.

They are arguing compassion for the suffering and for allowing up to 2 oz. of doses daily. This amounts to 140 joints per day for medical marijuana use.

The AIC drug task force has been approaching this as compassion at what cost: Compassion at the cost of our youth? Compassion at the cost of providing support? A lot of people say that marijuana is less of an issue than either nicotine or alcohol. Look at what we are spending as a result of the costs of these two substances on our society.

John E. indicated that urban renewal got through the legislature pretty much unscathed. This in and of itself is a good thing. Many of us depend on urban renewal to defray the cost of infrastructure to our rate payers. John said they did have a recent article in the paper. He said the Statesman did their due diligence on that article.

Steve asked if anyone caught the fact that the Bujak bill, HB147, passed. It is frustrating when you see a guy, who was just seen this last weekend in Las Vegas at one of the high end casinos, is too indigent to defend himself as an attorney. So senior judges from outside their district come in and appoint legal representation to the tune of around $340,000. This HB 147 was recognized as valuable legislation to keep this from happening to them again. It basically makes it much harder for someone to go in and say they are indigent and need legal representation, even though they are an attorney. For any counties, you need to have an indigent review process in your county to prevent this type of scenario from happening.

Gene indicated that they had finally terminated the LID lawsuit on their sewer system. The $30 million deal is settled and; no farmers were kicked off their land, no rates were increased in the City and they ended up with a brand new state-the-art treatment plant. It was all negotiated away and everybody wants to know how in the world they did that. For the bank to be realistic in their assumptions was a pretty good thing for all of their citizens.

Tammy stated there was a program she wanted to talk about during this time. It is called the Trauma Intervention Program. It is a national nonprofit that they are beginning discussions with. They are usually regional in their focus because trauma and critical incidents don’t end at the city limits. Many of the volunteers expertise is not specific to the large community. They thought they would introduce it in their community and see if it can’t have a regional effect.

The following is their website: Trauma Intervention Programs – National

These volunteers would accompany your officers in the morgue and be that shoulder to cry on or that emotional support for those families and individuals that have to deal with a critical incident. It puts your police officer back on the street and back in service.

Tammy said they have victim witness coordinators and they are overwhelmed. This would fill that gap. The national organization would come out and provide training to volunteers at their cost. They will be having an informational meeting and if any of the members are interested let her know and she will relay the date of the informational meeting on this Trauma Intervention Program. John B. suggested she relay the information to Bill and he can relay this information to all the members.

Bill mentioned that he would like to have a discussion on topics to explore for the Retreat. In addition, he wanted to inform the members that the house we have used the last two years at the Retreat has been sold. He has found two homes that are next to each other at Tamarack and the retreat item on the financial report is for paying for the reservation to these two homes.

Bill continued, each year he struggles with putting together this agenda as it is sometimes difficult to get people to come to Tamarack. He stated the last two years they have had someone from the EPA Office in Seattle come and discuss a topic.

Brad stated that this temperature issue is going to hit us in the next five years on all of our discharges on all of our plants. There is no great credible plan from any of us on how to deal with it. It would be best if we were proactive with them to figure out how to deal with the temperature issue. He has ground water coming out from underneath his plant that is in violation. So, mother-nature is in violation of our EPA standards. Somehow, somewhere along the way, we need to get some common sense in this thing instead of regulatory BS. He wants to save the Salmon so he is not anti-environmental, but there has to be somewhere in this regulatory environment where there is some balance of intelligence. Brad continued that the people from EPA he has dealt with are arrogant. They are right up front that they don’t have to supply any of the science that is behind their decisions.

Tom said in light of having EPA folks there, we should see if we can get some of our congressional delegation as well. It would be nice to get one of the four to commit to come to that retreat. If not them, at least their staff. Congress is the only body that can pass meaningful controls on the EPA.

Steve agreed. He spent some time in the petroleum related industry and he got to know how it worked with the EPA. The only guys that have affected the EPA in his lifetime have been the Governor who at one point reined them back. You are left to legislative action. If you can get one of the two parties to put pressure on them they wont change their way.

Kelly said in Owyhee County the TMDL came out on Mercury on two of their plants. This is naturally occurring mercury that his higher than the TMDL. So EPA showed up and were going to force Owyhee County to the same standards Oregon has set.

John E. said he had the opportunity recently to attend a National League of Cities conference. While there, he had an opportunity to visit with Senator Risch. This is a pretty high priority with him. He thinks either him or someone from his staff should be able to give us some additional insight. He said he thinks the Idaho Congressional Delegation is pretty frustrated with the lack of control of the rules. In Idaho, when a law is passed, the legislature has to confirm the rules. In the Federal Government, when a law is passed that delegation of authority goes to the non-elected officials and this is a real problem.

John E. said that another potential topic for the Retreat is how we move our SAUSA agenda along. Getting started with our funding requests earlier and take a run at getting some more money next year.

Tom stated that we met with Director Reinke and Representative Bolz in the middle of last summer. We also had we also had met with the co-chairs of JFAC this fall. He felt that we had pretty good presence and we just need to keep up the effort. He added that we really felt we had secured $25,000 out of JFAC but it got whittled down in the process.

Bill stated that during his invitation calls last winter when we held the legislative luncheon with Canyon County, a couple of our local legislative contingent suggested that we try to hold something like this only in the fall or spring. He plans on contacting Representative Bolz and others to develop a date to hold a legislative luncheon this fall.

Tammy said that last year we had Ken Harward at the retreat and it would be nice if we could have him and Dan Chadwick at this year’s retreat. Bill mentioned that he had worked with their assistants to set a date for the retreat and have already invited both of them to this year’s retreat.

Bill stated that this year’s retreat is scheduled for September 12 & 13. He said the two houses we rented last year have been sold, but he has found two more that are next to each other and have booked them for the dates. He hasn’t had the opportunity to go look at them yet, but the pictures indicate that either one will work for our purposes. In addition, all but one of the rooms has its own restroom which is nice.

Internet Crimes against Children

Steve turned the meeting over to Jason Pietrzak a Detective with the Boise Police Department. Jason stated that he and Detective Brady and introduced members of a coalition they had helped to get started. He introduced Vic Dominguez and Jeff Lauglin with the Idaho Internet Crimes against Children Coalition.

Idaho Internet Crimes against Children Task Force Website
http://www.icacidaho.org/index.html

Idaho Internet Crimes against Children Coalition Website
http://www.icacfoundation.org/index.html

Detective Brady said what they wanted to do was talk about internet crimes against children. What you see on the news and in the media are perceptions that this deals with sexting and or children 15 or 16 trading naked pictures of themselves. They do deal with this, but, primarily ICAC investigations deal with people that are trafficking in child pornography. When they are talking child pornography, they are talking children as young as infants all the way to 17-18 years old.

We talk to a lot of people that don’t know what the problem with child pornography is. The treasure valley area because of the population has the most throughout the State. He wanted to give some raw statistics to let everyone know the size of the problem then they will discuss what Idaho is experiencing.

When your talking child pornography, there are several ways in which that manifests. One way is through child pornography websites. There are about 480,000 websites that deal with child pornography. A lot of these sites deal with sexual abuse of children.

Back in 2003 was when law enforcement started to pay attention to this issue. At that time when we started delving into it, there were about 3,600 files on the internet that displayed child pornography. We now stand at over 20 million different IP addresses offering child pornography worldwide.

Where does this all comes from, he asked the members, where this is originating from? Brad said that Malaysia comes to mind. Detective Brady agreed and that Asian countries and parts of the old USSR come to mind when you hear of this topic. However, the United States is the number one producer of child pornography. We account for nearly 54% of all the activity.

It is all over the place and occurring in every one of our communities. They as law enforcement have spoken about ways the Partnership could help. One specifically would be technology to help them address the volume of what they have to follow. They have over 20 million leads worldwide. Their estimates are that child pornography generates between $3 and $12 million annually.

Another disturbing statistic is that there are an estimated 750,000 sexual predators that are actively using the internet to make contact with children. And his experience is that he has never seen an enticement case where a sexual predator wasn’t using some form of technology to seek children and didn’t have child pornography.

Of the people they have investigated and prosecuted, 80% have images of children being sexually penetrated. 21-30% of these have images of sadistic abuse where the children are blindfolded or gagged, burned, etc. What we are seeing now is an increase in the violence directed toward children. There has been a lot of speculation as to why. What he is seeing is that the people that have delved into this world report, that the normal child pornography that is out there is not enough. So they seek stuff that is more raw.

In Idaho, we have 5,000 unique leads that have been identified as coming from within the State. 34,000 children in Idaho receive an internet sexual solicitation annually. Of these, 5,000 receive requests to meet in person.

Jason and he have been keeping stats starting about 2.5 years ago. Out of about two dozen cases they are up to 55 children they rescued.

Gene asked of the cases he has handled, is there a certain percentage that had been sexually abused? If you ask the perpetrators 65-65% will tell you have. However up till recently they took their word for this report but they are now going through a treatment program and the current statistics after this program is that there are 30-35% of those perpetrators that had been sexually abused.

Another statistic that is startling. Offenders are repeat offenders. They have reported under lie detector that 80% of the offenders had on average 23 separate victims.

He wanted to talk about the effect this has on victims. When children are sexually abused they are demoralized. This is terrible, but someone that is the victim of child pornography is immortalized and the images are all out there on the internet. He thinks the effects are far worse because they have to deal with the fact that it is out on the internet and it’s never going away. These victims grow up having a fear of technology and don’t want to use computers, smart phones or anything else.

Detective Brady said we in Idaho are struggling. The future does look brighter. They have worked through the legislature and it is promising they are going to get funding for investigators and resources. But still, unfortunately it’s not enough. He and Jason started their nonprofit coalition about a year ago. The purpose of this is to raise funds for investigations and prosecutions. These crimes are incredibly expensive to investigate. The equipment that is needed is very hi tech and it is continually needing to be updated both software and hardware.

They strongly believe there is an educational component to this. The Coalition is currently working with the Boise School District to provide them with internet safety presentations and hope to see that grow. In addition, they are hoping to continue to provide victim support services which are ongoing.

Vic Dominguez introduced himself as the Chair of the Internet Crimes against Children Coalition. He said that one of the biggest issues for them with the Coalition is establishing awareness of this activity as it relates to Idaho. As a former police officer in the Los Angeles area we are used to crime associated with that metropolitan area. When he moved here he was somewhat naive as it relates to crimes in the State. It wasn’t till he had the chance to meet Tim and Jason and learn first-hand the degree of child pornography that is being utilized in this State that he realized that this is an important issue for Idaho. It is an incredibly complicated one and the reason he chose to get involved was because Tim and Jason were the only two that had established this nonprofit.

Vic continued that Tim and Jason are the foremost experts in this area in the State and therefore are constantly all over the State helping with these types of investigations. These two have both been given the status of a U.S. Marshal. This is very unusual for local law enforcement. The interesting part of this the federal laws are more stringent on these types of cases than the State is.

What they are doing with the Coalition is they are going out and helping fundraise, promote awareness, promote education and promoted prevention. Something they are looking at doing down the line is to be able to provide support to victims of internet child pornography. They haven’t fleshed out how they are going to be able to do that. He was very interested in following up and learning about the Trauma Intervention Program that Tammy was discussing earlier.

Kelly asked what the percentage of recidivism they are seeing as a result of their prosecutions. Tim said at the State level, the penalty for possession of child pornography is 10 years and the maximum penalty for distribution is 30 years. Typically, a first time offender will get a six month rider to Cottonwood for their treatment program. Statistically, they are going to tell you that recidivism is low. Kelly asked that if one of these perpetrators moves into your community, is there a threat to the citizens. Tim said anecdotally, yes, because the people they have talked to that have been in possession of child pornography have ranged from 16 years old and into their 60-70’s. It does not stop. You could use treatment, medications and other interventions and for some reason they do not get cured from the need to have this child pornography.

Tom said his question is more of a personal nature, you live in this world, and what do you do to keep your equilibrium? Tim said that they get asked that a lot. It is working with good people. He and Jason have been a team for quite some time. They work in a good unit and have a great supervisor. Tom said that it seemed that the workers in this field would need to have access to supports so that they don’t get depressed and cynical. Tim said, as a result of the normal course of work where they sit down and talk with groups like the Partnership, church groups, school groups and even the kids, you get that sort of normalcy.

Tim added that what they really need now is for people to stop patting them on the back and provide a little financial support, awareness and support for what the coalition is trying to do.

Steve asked if it was a mental health issue that we could work on prevention. He continued, as leaders, what else can they do besides $’s?

Vic said that was exactly what he wanted to address in conclusion. The reason they are here is because this activity is not confined to Boise. Every community in this state is affected by this. Part of what they need to do to continue their mission to support the detectives and others that are going to be involved in this is establish what they call an honorary board of directors. We ask these individuals give their name, title and to be recognized as an honorary member of their board. We can then establish greater credibility and greater integrity in terms of who is involved in this program. At that point in time, Vic passed a sign-up sheet around for individuals who wanted to volunteer for the board.

Tammy asked in their ideal world, is there relationships they would like to see that will help their cause. Tim said, because this unit is going to be housed in the valley and will be operating state-wide, they need local departments in the valley to pony up one or two investigators for the valley and to send over to the Task Force to work full-time. The money they just received will pay for salaries, benefits and equipment.

Tom asked if they have worked with anybody in their family justice center. Tim said he has worked with two of Tom’s detectives very closely and they would love to have them come over. Tim said, right now what they need is more people. More people would get more cases in front of the court and judges get more educated. One of the differences you notice right off the bat. When one of our Federal Judges sentences a child pornographer, they understand what effect it has on victims and sentences reflect that. He continued, the judges here in Idaho lack education and understanding. There are a few judges however, that have seen enough of this, and they are providing bigger penalties.

Jeff said the equipment side of things is also important. For example, on one Federal case he had to turn in videos of every instance of child pornography found. On the computer he has now, it took him a week to reproduce 300 videos. Tammy asked if they could use volunteers to help with these sorts of tasks. Jeff said that because of legal constraints like the chain of evidence, that could create problems.

Tammy said she needs a better call to action. She needs something she can take back, a task to do. Tim said, you will have something to do when they follow-up with the contacts for their voluntary advisory committee.

Jeff added, that what they really need the members of the Partnership to use your abilities, your contacts and names to set up meetings with people that are willing to help. The one other thing that Jason and Tim need right now is hardware and /software. That is the most expensive piece of the business. They are looking for either donations or money for that piece. But the big piece is being able to get in front of people that you have assembled as contacts in your communities. It is all about money and that is how we are going to get the broad range of support they need to be successful.

Jason mentioned that they will be having their Second Annual “Alley Cat Bike Challenge” and they will be distributing that information out soon as well.

Tom moved to accept the minutes and financial report. John B. seconded. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned.