DOVER – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden asked the state legislature’s budget-writing committee on Monday to fund two critical priorities in Fiscal Year 2015, including two critical new positions in his office’s Child Predator Unit.
Biden first requested approximately $128,000 to fund salary increases for attorneys who have earned promotions within the Department of Justice’s career ladder. The raises, which reward attorneys for certain career advancements, have not been funded in four of the past seven years.
To toughen the fight against predators preying on children, Biden is seeking funding for a new investigator ($87,400) and a second prosecutor ($85,000). Since Biden helped launch the Child Predator Unit shortly after taking office in 2007, 184 predators have been convicted and 119 children have been rescued from situations where they were the victims of abuse or being groomed for future victimization.
The Child Predator Unit is experiencing a significant increase in its caseload and those cases are growing more complex as predators become more sophisticated in searching for potential victims and attempting to hide their conduct. In calendar year 2013, the Unit made 51 arrests after averaging 42 in 2012 and 2011. The Unit’s prosecutor, Abigail Layton, secured 34 convictions in 2013 – the Unit secured 28 in 2012 and 27 in 2011. The number of hard drives that the Unit’s investigators have examined increased 92 percent from 2008 to 2012.
“My grandfather used to say ‘show me your budget and I will show you your priorities,’” Biden said. “These budget requests reflect our priorities — rewarding talented attorneys for their public service and protecting Delaware’s children from the worst of society. The more resources we give to the Child Predator Unit, the more predators we will stop from hurting children and the safer we will make our kids.”
-30-Related Topics: Child Predator Task Force • Criminal • Protecting Children
Built by the Government Information Center