State Sen. Lauren Book, a child advocate and a survivor of child sexual abuse, understands better than most just how important the work Special Agents Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin were doing.
“As a child who was a victim of childhood sexual abuse, law enforcement, and those people that help you through what that is, and take you out of that situation are, I mean, lifesaving godsends for survivors of abuse,” she said.
Book said is thankful for the work they do every day to protect children because it’s “not an easy space to work in.”
“You’re dealing with the worst of the worst, and you’re seeing the worst of the worst,” she said. “And these two agents, the three that were injured, and so many others, you know, give so much of themselves, sacrifice each and every day, leaving their families not knowing if they’ll return to help keep children safe.”
The state senator then turned her attention to Special Agent Schwartzenberger, who also mentored kids.
Rockway Middle School in Miami Dade released a statement talking about how much she helped open student’s eyes to the dangers that exist online.
“Schwartzenberger talking to children and making sure that they are aware of the dangers that exist online is so important – not just for those kids, but those families, those parents,” she said. “It’s important to know that one in five children, regardless of their gender, will be solicited for sex online at some point. Particularly at this time during the pandemic, children are particularly vulnerable.”
According to Book, there was a spike of 31% of children being exploited online in 2020.
Book added that by having those conversations, Schwartzenberger not only helped keep children and families informed about online dangers, but she was also “normalizing some of the feelings that survivors of internet crimes against children may feel.”
Tuesday’s shooting parallels with that of the 2004 shooting of BSO Det. Todd Fatta, who was killed while serving a search warrant on a registered sex offender.
Book was asked if law enforcement should start rethinking how they work in the field on cases involving sex offenders.
“I think that, you know, there’s a typical profile of sex offenders – and that may be the case. But I do think that very desperate people do desperate things,” said Book. “When the jig is up, and law enforcement is closing in, those individuals tend to sometimes lash out and I do think that those are things that that we do need to be aware of and look at.”