Veterans to assist in child predator investigations - WFLA News Channel 8

Veterans to assist in child predator investigations

Posted: Updated:
Facebook photo: Justin Gaertner Facebook photo: Justin Gaertner
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa will be part of a new federal pilot program that trains veterans to help track down child predators and assist agents with investigations into child pornography and online sexual exploitation.

Two veterans of the 17 involved in the "HERO Corps" will work in Tampa, one of 14 cities involved in the year-long program. David Blau and Justin Gaertner, both veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps, are expected to start work by the end of the month.

The veterans will be taking leads and doing computer forensic work in the Tampa Homeland Security Investigations office.

Gaertner, a combat engineer who is from Tampa and lost both of his legs after being wounded by IEDs in Afghanistan, said he looks at his new job as "just transferring the knowledge and skill set I had from the Marine Corps to the HERO Corps."

The work with ICE Homeland Security Investigations also gives Gaertner another chance to serve.

"I thought my service had gotten cut short, and I never thought that I would be able to go back into the field and continue the fight, continue the service to my country," Gaertner told News Channel 8.

Combat veterans are also specially equipped to deal with the difficult and often disturbing job of investigating crimes against children.

"These individuals that have been overseas fighting for our country, they possess mental toughness," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Tampa. "They possess the psychological skills needed, they've been through the horrors of war."

The yearlong pilot program is being funded with private sector money and a grant from an individual to the National Association to Protect Children, an HSI spokeswoman said.

Related Content: Check out Tampa's Homeland Security team
 

 

 





  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:04:11 GMT
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
  • How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:43:25 GMT
    A 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photoA 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photo
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
  • Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:59 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:59:42 GMT
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Report card for Tampa Mayor Buckhorn earns him high marks

    Report card for Tampa Mayor Buckhorn earns him high marks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:44:38 GMT
    Artist rendering downtown TampaArtist rendering downtown Tampa
    Tampa's Mayor makes the grade with downtown investors.On the campaign trail Mayor Bob Buckhorn promised to turn a city where the sidewalks would roll up when the work whistle would blow, into a place where people could live, work and play."
    Tampa's Mayor makes the grade with downtown investors.On the campaign trail Mayor Bob Buckhorn promised to turn a city where the sidewalks would roll up when the work whistle would blow, into a place where people could live, work and play."
  • Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:44:54 GMT
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
  • MISSING: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    MISSING: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:26 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:26:37 GMT
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and that was the last time she was seen. 
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and that was the last time she was seen. 
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Tampa Police now question if boy rolled from SUV

    Tampa Police now question if boy rolled from SUV

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:18:48 GMT
    Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night.Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night.
    Tampa Police are investigating the tragic death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night. Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday morning.
    Tampa Police are investigating the tragic death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night. Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday morning.
  • Family of 4-year-old boy killed on a Tampa street speaks out

    Family of 4-year-old boy killed on a Tampa street speaks out

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:36 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:36:45 GMT
    Marterrance AlburyMarterrance Albury
    "He's bad but he's a sweet bad. You know kids get into stuff and if he got into something, he would crawl up under the table and hide when he knows he is about to get in trouble,” said Williams as she remember her grandson Marterrance Albury who was killed Sunday
    "He's bad but he's a sweet bad. You know kids get into stuff and if he got into something, he would crawl up under the table and hide when he knows he is about to get in trouble,” said Williams as she remember her grandson Marterrance Albury who was killed Sunday
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.