About 400 law enforcement professionals and investigators who fight child abuse and online sexual predators are wrapping up a three day Protect Our Children conference in Maryland Heights, outside St. Louis.

Among those taking part is Jeffrey Valenti, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Kansas City.  Valenti is Chief of the Western District’s Computer Crime and Exploitation Unit, who has joined the others to try to safeguard kids. Valenti says the Internet has provided predators with a new tool to use as they try to abuse and exploit children. So, plans of attack must be put forward to fight those predators. Valenti says many of the state laws differ to some degree, so he and other federal law enforcement officials have been instructing state and local officials how they can best use the federal laws to crack down on predators.

Professionals from Missouri and four other states – Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska – are taking part in this conference, which began on Wednesday and wraps up Friday.

Download/Listen: Steve Walsh report (:60 MP3)