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Platte County prosecutor, sheriff receive grants for child crimes

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Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 19:04:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri announced $1.8 million in grants to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calls to child abuse hotlines in Kansas City, as well as across the state and country, dropped precipitously during the early months of the pandemic. That included calls regarding child sexual abuse.

Gov. Mike Parson announced a plan in July to award up to $2 million. Nineteen agencies applied for grants, including the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office and Platte County Sheriff’s Office.

“Criminals who victimize children must be investigated, prosecuted, and brought to justice, no matter when they commit these heinous crimes,” Parson said. “The rise in crimes reported against children during the COVID-19 pandemic and the strains on agencies that detect, investigate, and prosecute those criminals made it clear that local agencies could use additional assistance. We are pleased to make these funds available to help protect our children and remove criminals from the streets.”

The Platte County Prosecutor’s Office will receive $119,152 and the Platte County Sheriff’s Office will receive $66,938.

The largest grant — $300,000 — was awarded to the Lincoln County Prosecutor’s Office, while the Missouri State Highway Patrol received $50,176

The Missouri Crimes Against Children/Sex Crimes COVID-19 Funding Opportunity, which begin Friday, is administered by the Department of Public Safety.

The money can be used to hire additional investigators and prosecutors, provide training or to purchase software and equipment needed for investigations.