$1M Cash Boost to Fight Child Porn

Gretchen Gallen
ONTARIO, Canada – Project P, Ontario's special police unit that investigates child porn cases, got a cash infusion of $1 million this week to beef up its staff and strengthen its vigilant effort to keep Ontario from becoming a child porn haven, authorities announced Monday.

The added cash to Project P's budget is a follow-up pledge from Ontario's Attorney General Michael Bryant and Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter to give the child porn task force as much support as possible and set a precedent for other states to take a firmer stand against child porn and the "avenues" through which child porn can be disseminated, namely the Internet.

The cash infusion was approved by the Ontario Cabinet and marks a 70 percent increase in Project P's usual funding allotment from Ontario lawmakers. Typically, Project P operates on a $2.4 million budget.

The added monies will be used to add 12 new members to the task force team, said Brian Adkin, president of the Ontario Provincial Police Association, where Project P has operated since its inception in 1975.

"That's excellent," Adkin told the Toronto Star. "These guys are run off their feet. It will be very helpful."

The expanded budget comes on the heels of a gruesome molestation/murder of a 10-year-old Lake Ontario girl after her confessed killer admitted to drawing inspiration from viewing child porn on the Internet.

The man, 36-year-old software developer Michael Briere, was sentenced to life in prison last week after he was found guilty by a Canadian court of sexually assaulting and then murdering and dismembering Holly Jones in May 2003. Briere was arrested one month later after investigators matched his DNA from a soda can to skin found under the victim's fingernails.

Briere also confessed that his attack on Holly was random. He saw her walking home from school and dragged her into his apartment where he assaulted and then strangled and dismembered her, keeping the body overnight and removing it the next day in two gym bags.

The Toronto Star reports, however, that the Cabinet's decision to increase funding for Project P had been in the works long before the murder of Jones.

"What I did was absolutely wrong," Briere said immediately following his sentencing. "It was cruel. It cannot be justified. It was meaningless and senseless. I accept this sentence because I fully realize the pain which I have caused. I realize that I must be punished for this terrible wrong that I have done. I also realize that society wants to be protected from me and my behavior."