Stop Predators Who Victimize Children

A glance at the list of indictments from the current session of the Ohio County grand jury makes it clear that Gov. Joe Manchin is right about one of the few proposals he is making for an increase in state spending.

During his “State of the State” speech Wednesday, Manchin said he wants to double the size of the State Police Crimes Against Children Unit. It has just six troopers; Manchin wants six more.

Crimes against children, often involving sex, are all too common in our state. We report arrests for such offenses regularly. Just last week, two men were indicted in Ohio County for child-sex crimes. One allegedly had sex with a 12-year-old girl. The other is accused of various offenses including use of minors in filming sexually explicit activity.

Local law enforcement officers do an excellent job in investigating such crimes. But, particularly in situations requiring specialized investigative techniques and equipment, the State Police are important.

“On any given day, 300 West Virginia children … are sexually abused,” Manchin said in his speech.

That ought to be enough to convince legislators that if more money is needed for the Crimes Against Children Unit, it should be provided.