Recently, the Fairfax County Police Department, Polaris Project, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Virginia Attorney General’s Office, along with local law enforcement agencies across northern Virginia, announced the receipt of a $1 million grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and Office for Victims of Crime.
A total of $500,000 has been awarded to the Fairfax County Police Department over two years to fund, among other things, a new Human Trafficking Unit. A full-time detective and a full-time crime analyst are now dedicated to conducting human trafficking investigations and coordinating the overall investigative efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement members of the Human Trafficking Task Force in Northern Virginia. An additional $500,000, over two years, was awarded to the Polaris Project
to provide services to victims of human trafficking issues in collaboration with the task force.
The Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force was one of seven jurisdictions to receive funding. The other jurisdictions that will receive grant awards under this program are Arlington, Texas; Riverside County, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Brooklyn, New York; Buffalo, New York; and Seattle, Washington.
Founded in 2004, the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force is a collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies – along with nongovernmental organizations – dedicated to combating human trafficking and related crimes.
From Fiscal Year 2011 to the present, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia has successfully prosecuted 24 federal cases against 57 defendants engaged in human trafficking and closely related conduct throughout northern Virginia. These convictions resulted in sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. These cases involved at least 38 juvenile victims of sex trafficking, more than 350 adult victims of prostitution and sexual exploitation, and two adult victims of forced labor.
The Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force will continue to take an aggressive and innovative approach to investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases. In addition, the grant provides a comprehensive array of restorative services designed to meet specific victims’ individual needs. During the past year, the City of Alexandria has joined other jurisdictions in the northern Virginia region to address this topic through professional and community education and strategy development. Human trafficking prevention (like gang, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and crime prevention), helps parents recognize warning signs, and raises the community's awareness; helps professionals to be proactive and responsive; and helps young people thrive. Learn more at www.alexandriava.gov/gangprevention
. To request information and training on human trafficking, contact Mike Mackey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about human trafficking through
Watch the video
: "Chosen", a documentary by Shared Hope International