PORTSMOUTH -- More than two dozen law enforcement officials gathered in Portsmouth Thursday to thank U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her efforts to strengthen New Hampshire's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The event took place on the heels of the recent signing of the Child Protection Act of 2012, a piece of federal legislation aimed at curbing child exploitation online.
Members of New Hampshire's ICAC team gathered at Portsmouth City Hall with Mayor Eric Spear and representatives from the state attorney general's office to offer their thanks to Ayotte for her advocacy on behalf of the ICAC program.
A previous law appropriated $60 million per year for ICAC task forces, but the funding was set to expire at the end of fiscal 2013. The Child Protection Act reauthorizes funding at the same level for another four years.
"When the exploitation of children occurs online and child pornography is distributed, that child is re-exploited every single time that occurs," Ayotte said, "and there's obviously a huge connection between those who are exploited and the crimes that are committed against them and other crimes, so this is a very important effort." ___