DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – State police officials are working with the Salvation Army and other organizations to help fight human trafficking in the Detroit area.
The agency announced this week that it and The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division are partnering with help of a $1.5 million federal grant. They’ll be focusing on Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
A multi-agency Joint Anti-Trafficking Taskforce is being created, with partners that include Vista Maria, Wayne County Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner’s Program, Matrix Human Services: Off the Streets, University of Michigan Human Trafficking Law Clinic and Alternatives for Girls.
According to police, there were 94 federal cases of human trafficking and 100 state cases of human trafficking in the tri-county area in 2013 and 2014. Those involved say the partnership will enhance the ability to investigate and provide services to those affected.
Michigan has stepped up efforts in recent years to shield minor victims from prosecution and crack down criminals involved in human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a vast and expanding criminal enterprise through which traffickers profit from the exploitation and control of their victims. Victims of human trafficking include children involved in the sex industry, adults forced or coerced into commercial sexual activity and anyone forced into a labor or service industry against their will. It does not necessarily involve the transportation of victims across international or even state borders.
This unique partnership tackles human trafficking from a comprehensive perspective, bringing together both enforcement and victim services agencies to prevent human trafficking and rescue those being trafficked, both within the tri-county target area, as well as across Michigan.
Grant funds for this project come from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office for Victims of Crime.
If you or someone you know needs help, or to report a potential human trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit traffickingresourcecenter.org.
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