A Dothan Police Department Task Force Working Hard to Help Children

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The soaring rise of smart phones, webcams and social media is making it easier for child predators to find potential victims.

That's why the Dothan Police Department became a member of the Alabama Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Since joining the network police have made more than 25 arrests and officials say they are ranked a top task force in the state.

But now the force is dealing with a different kind of crime against children called sextortion.

Officials explain sextortion as child predators or pornographers gaining kids' trust, convincing them to send sexual pictures and blackmailing them to get more.

"That's very effective for them, because they use the pictures against young people at that point, I don't want to say girls but I mean they do use that as a means to not get it reported. Having said that I do know of cases here where that's happened. I'm assuming it's happened much more than we know about," Dothan Police Corporal Tim Mullis, said.

Mullis' advice to parents is to monitor what kids are doing online or on their smart phones and warns kids to never send out personal information or photos to strangers.