The West Virginia State Police took part in a film that was released earlier this year and will be showing at several locations across the state in the next week.
The film is called “Finding Faith.” It’s based on actual events and the career of Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, VA. He was one of the first in the country to set up an Internet Crimes Task Force. He helped the West Virginia State Police set up its system.
Sgt. Mike Baylous with the West Virginia State Police says it was an honor for the department to be part of a film that focuses on Internet crimes against children.
“It’s a proactive attempt to reach these children before they’re exposed to these types of crimes,” Baylous said Wednesday during an appearance on MetroNews Talkline. “What it’s designed to do is create an open conversation between parents and children and communities on the dangers of the Internet.”
Starring as Sheriff Brown is Erik Estrada, best known for his role as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello on the 70′s TV series “Chips.”
The plot focuses on a girl who befriends a man on the Internet and is abducted and taken to a home in West Virginia. That’s where you’ll see members of the West Virginia State Police portraying themselves as they help find the girl.
Baylous says while the scenes are set in West Virginia, it could just as easily have been any state in the country.
“Sometimes we think [internet predators] are a problem that’s unique to West Virginia. It’s not,” Baylous said. “It’s a worldwide problem.”
“Finding Faith” will have one of its second viewing in West Virginia on Saturday at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Hurricane at 5pm. Estrada will be there to talk about his role and the dangers of the Internet.
To find out where you can see the film, log on to www.findingfaithfilm.com.