Among 24 individuals arrested for luring underage boys and girls via social media into a sex ring was a police officer from New Jersey. In this photo, alleged drug users are handcuffed in a police reported sting operation in Quezon city, Philippines, Nov. 10, 2016. Getty Images/ Jes Aznar

Among 24 individuals arrested for luring underage boys and girls via social media for sex was a police officer from New Jersey, the state's attorney general said in a press conference Tuesday.

“We want child predators to know that we’re on social media, too, and that the next child that they may target may be an undercover officer waiting for them with handcuffs,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said as he stood in front of a board that displayed the mug shots of the 24 people arrested, which included a nurse, a firefighter and a DPW worker among others, North Jersey reported.

The board also included the picture of Richard Conte, 47, a police sergeant with the Howell Township Police Department, who posed on one of the social media sites as a 19-year-old male, claiming to have had sexual encounters with underage girls. He began chatting with an undercover officer, who pretended to be a 15-year-old girl and eventually the both agreed to meet up at a residence in Toms River, New Jersey.

When Conte showed up at the meeting point with a condom in his pocket, he was confronted by dozens of law enforcement officers and charged with second-degree luring, among other crimes. Following his arrest, he was suspended from his police duties and was placed on court-ordered home detention.

Grewal also stressed on the importance of parents keeping a check on the kind of apps their children use and making sure they are age-appropriate.

“Just like you are vigilant about a stranger approaching your child in a park, you need to be equally if not more vigilant about the dangers lurking in these new cyber playgrounds,” he added.

Some of the apps on which the undercover investigators posed as underage boys and girls to lure out the alleged culprits included dating apps like Tinder and Grindr to gaming apps like Fortnite and Minecraft.

All the arrests were made between Sept. 5 and 9 as part of a week-long sting called "Operation Open House." More than 30 law enforcement agencies from around New Jersey participated in the task force, including the New Jersey Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which was led by the state police.

Five among the 24 busted in the operation face third-degree charges for attempted sharing of obscene materials with a child after they allegedly sent photos of their genitals to the undercover detectives. With even just the second-degree luring charge, all the 24 men face between five and 10 years in prison.

While some of the suspects agreed to meet with the undercover agents after just chatting for a day or two, others chose to chat with them for an entire week before planning the meeting. One man drove down from as far as Bronx to meet with what he thought was an underage girl.

“While there have always been child predators, what this investigation highlights is that their methods are constantly changing in the internet age,” Grewal said.