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Michigan State Police have a new tool to help them catch online child predators

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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A new piece of equipment may soon help Michigan State Police catch online child predators.

Detective Sergeant Jay Poupard has spent years tracking online child predators for the Michigan State Police.

He says the way predators try to contact children online has been changing, from direct contact to harder to trace indirect methods, like file sharing.

“It hasn’t decreased. It’s just moved into another part of the virtual world,” says Poupard.

A new computer system donated to the Michigan State Police this month will allow the MSP’s digital evidence unit to improve its methods to examine files of computers seized in online child predator investigations.

Poupard says the most important way to protect children is for parents and guardians to monitor their online activity.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.