One in five children has received unwanted sexual solicitations over the web and 75 percent of all children are willing to share personal information, according to the Crimes Against Children Research Center.
As part of its “Caring Community 12 for 12 Giveaway,” Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric helped combat internet predators in March by donating $1,000 to Stranger Danger, an internet safety program run by the District Attorney Community Partnership, to help finance their fight against this on-going problem.
Less than ten percent of these events are ever reported to law enforcement agencies. “Protecting our children from online predators is incredibly important, so I’m glad we could support such a worthy cause,” said John Ward, the owner of Applewood. “By educating our kids about the dangers that exist on the internet and actively targeting online predators, Stranger Danger does a great service for our community.”
Mike Harris, a detective at the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, created the program and uses CHEEZO, the internet safety mascot, to emphasize program messages at school assemblies. Stranger Danger conducts more than 115 presentations every year and has a task force of eight detectives that volunteer to seek out and arrest internet predators. Harris and his team also use informational coloring books, stickers, and other small prizes containing important messages about internet safety.
“Our unit has 243 arrests with a 100 percent conviction rate, but what I really enjoy is teaching the kids. They are so wide-eyed and ready to learn,” said Harris. “The great thing about receiving this money from Applewood is that it will enable us to give out prizes at our assemblies through the next year.” Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric has served the Denver/Boulder Metro areas for more than 37 years. The company has consistently been rated one of the nation’s top 10 service companies by their customers and has achieved the Nexstar Network Select Service designation and the 2007 City of Golden Rotary Club’s Ethics in Business Award.