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>>

  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • Police: 3 dead in Brooksville shooting

    Police: 3 dead in Brooksville shooting

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:19 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:19:30 GMT
    Brooksville Police say at least three people have been killed and a fourth person was flown to a hospital after a shooting at a home near Main Street on Friday night.
    Brooksville Police say at least three people have been killed and a fourth person was flown to a hospital after a shooting at a home near Main Street on Friday night.
  • Pepin supports 64oz growlers, regulations

    Pepin supports 64oz growlers, regulations

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:29:28 GMT
    He's the president of Pepin Distributing but he's extending an olive branch to craft brewers in Florida.“One key piece of misinformation is that we are opposed to a 64 ounce growler, we support a 64 ounce growler,” said Tom Pepin.
    He's the president of Pepin Distributing but he's extending an olive branch to craft brewers in Florida.“One key piece of misinformation is that we are opposed to a 64 ounce growler, we support a 64 ounce growler,” said Tom Pepin.
  • Riverview traffic light turned on following crashes

    Riverview traffic light turned on following crashes

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:08:02 GMT
    Two days ago, a newly installed traffic light on a busy Big Bend road in Southern Hillsborough County was not working.Power had not been supplied to the light yet, but that light is on after two crashes sent drivers to the hospital.
    Two days ago, a newly installed traffic light on a busy Big Bend road in Southern Hillsborough County was not working.Power had not been supplied to the light yet, but that light is on after two crashes sent drivers to the hospital.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
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.