To Help Parents, Teens Avoid Online Predators

COLTS NECK, NJ - Freehold Regional High School District teams up with NJ State Parole Board, NJ Association of School Resource Officers for Dec. 7 Seminar at Colts Neck HS The Freehold Regional High School District, working in conjunction with the NJ State Parole Board and NJ Association of School Resource Officers, is offering a free Sexual Predator Awareness Seminar to be held 7 pm, Tuesday, December 7, at Colts Neck High School at 59 Five Points Road, Colts Neck, in Monmouth County.

The seminar is the third in a statewide series that aims to educate parents and teachers as well as teens on the dangers posed by online predators and how to both spot and avoid them. The seminar is free to attend and open to all members of the public. It will be held in the auditorium of Colts Neck High School.

“This is a frank, compelling discussion that will dispel popular myths about sexual predators, and provide sobering facts about safety on the internet, with relatives and in social settings,” State Parole Board Chairman James T. Plousis said. “Parents and young people will benefit from the expertise of New Jersey’s law enforcement leaders on this topic.”

“Technology pervades every aspect of our students’ lives, from the utilization of computers in the classroom to the ubiquitous use of smart phones and social media,” said Dr. Suzanne Koegler, Acting Superintendent of the Freehold Regional High School District. “Because teens today live so much of their lives online, and often don’t think twice about divulging personal information, it’s important for all involved – parents, teachers and teens themselves – to understand how online predators operate. Our hope is that parents and others will learn important safety guidelines from this seminar.”

NJASRO President and Saddle River Detective Sergeant Tim Gerity said, “From leadership on homeland security, street gang awareness and the dangers of sexual predators, the New Jersey Association of School Resource Officers is committed to the safety of schools and children. We are proud to help raise awareness of this important topic throughout New Jersey.”

The presentation will be given by Captain Anne McGrath and Captain Steven Tallard of the State Parole Board’s Sex Offender Management Unit (SOMU) and Electronic Monitoring Unit. These units are responsible for the lifetime supervision of convicted sex offenders in New Jersey, a task that includes polygraph testing and GPS monitoring of the highest-risk offenders. It also includes regular information-sharing with Federal, state and local police, and with psychological treatment providers.

The presentation will include:

• Actual case studies that illustrate how sexual predators seek victims. This includes the unexpected ways some offenders have succeeded in tracking and luring victims via the Internet, as well as the dangers of sexual abuse by the relatives of young children, and the use of date rape drugs and other forms of sexual coercion to which teenagers may fall victim

• Statistics and clinical data to dispel myths about sex offenders, and provide a real picture of the risks, sexual predators' typical offense cycle, the most common relationships of abusers to children, and the ways abusers groom children

• Important advice for parents and teachers related to Internet safety, safety at parties, safety with strangers and safety with family members. (See the attached fact sheet for additional materials for parents).

WHEN: 7 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WHERE: Colts Neck Regional High School, 59 Five Points Rd, Colts Neck, NJ 07722-1781

The New Jersey State Parole Board (SPB) works to ensure ex-prisoners return to society as lawabiding citizens. As required by law, appointed Parole Board Members and staff conduct nearly 20,000 hearings per year, solicit input from victims and decide parole matters. SPB sworn parole officers supervise more than 15,000 offenders statewide. In addition, SPB is New Jersey’s primary law enforcement agency responsible for sex offender supervision. SPB officers are also active partners with multiple Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies and task forces. Finally, SPB’s Community Programs Unit partners with government, non-profit and private agencies to connect exprisoners with vocational, mental health and related services, targeted to break the cycle and risk of crime.