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Predators Are Threat Locally

Sexual predators are not merely a faraway threat to children in general. To judge by arrests made in Amsterdam, the menace is local.

Police in Amsterdam, a small town in northwest Jefferson County, have reported arresting four men on charges of soliciting sex acts. Two are from Amsterdam, one is from Bergholz and the fourth is from Malvern.

Police said the four “contacted what they thought was an underage female and arranged to meet her while sending explicit messages and photos …” They added that any other victims of the men should contact them or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

All four men are innocent unless proven guilty, of course. But if the Amsterdam police report is correct, it indicates the problem of predators targeting children is more local and more widespread than some may have thought previously.

Talk to your children about online predators. Monitor their online activities. Sexual predators are not someone else’s worry. Local law enforcement officials are well aware of the magnitude of the threat — but they are not the first line of defense for the children being targeted.

Parents are. Is talking to your children about the risk difficult? Absolutely — but protecting your children is worth it.

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