Tried and True Coping Skills from an ICAC Lieutenant

The Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has been one of the first ICAC task forces to implement a mental health and wellness program. This is the story of some of their challenges and successes in the last two years.


Alternate CSE and non-CSE cases when possible including longer breaks after “bad” CSE cases
Whenever possible, I generally view CP for a case in 3 phases (done on separate, non-consecutive days, and no longer than about 3-4 hours/day):
Quick broad search of the evidence bookmarking anything close to CP
View CP bookmarks more closely, narrowing them down to the ones which will be used in a report
Document detailed descriptions of a small set of images and videos
Whenever possible, I restrict viewing of CP to the morning so it isn’t as fresh in my mind when I go home at night
While good exercise, sleep, and eating are essential to minimize stress in general, I focus more on these when I am working a “bad” CSE case
I try to visualize the physical separation of work and home as the mental barrier for same
When leaving work after viewing CP that day, I remind myself of the relatively small number of offenders/victims for these crimes

Detective Lieutenant Brian Penders
Vermont State Police Computer Crimes Unit
ICAC Task Force