SSFPD Media Release: SMCO Human Trafficking Task Force

South San Francisco, CA   December 18, 2014  Submitted by SSFPD

Photo hbcubuzz.com

Photo hbcubuzz.com

San Mateo County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff Association

In November 2013, the San Mateo County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff Association launched an investigative unit comprised of a multi-jurisdictional collaboration of law enforcement agencies to combat human trafficking in San Mateo County. The primary function of the collaboration is to rescue human trafficking victims induced, coerced or forced into a commercial sex operation and identifying and arresting their respective pimps/traffickers.

The rescued victims are then provided services from San Mateo County victim service agencies and non­ governmental organizations, which aid in the restoration of the victims after they have been separated from their traffickers.

The San Mateo County Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff Association is pleased to announce the results from the task force’s first year of operations. Since the inception of the program, the task force has conducted 11 operations in various different cities in the county. As a result of these operations, the task force has arrested 5 subjects for Human Trafficking, 4 subjects for pimping and pandering related charges, 16 subjects for prostitution related offenses and lastly, arrested 27 subjects for soliciting prostitution.

More importantly, the task force rescued 8 victims from their respective traffickers, 3 of whom were female juveniles who were coerced, induced or forced into a commercial sex operation.

The 27 individuals arrested for soliciting prostitution are commonly known as “johns” or clients. Their arrests was a clear indication of the task force’s desire to forge a strong focus on the “demand” side of a commercial sex operation, which is often overlooked in the realm of Human Trafficking investigations.

The multi-jurisdictional collaboration was created as San Mateo County Law Enforcement leaders realized we can no longer ignore the fact that human trafficking exists in San Mateo County and we can no longer be reactive to an issue which needs a proactive approach.

The goal is to target these predators, rescue these victims and provide them with the help and assistance they need to recover from their trauma and restore their lives. We owe it to the many victims of human trafficking not to miss any opportunity to uncover incidents of this vicious crime.

If you suspect an incident of Human Trafficking please notify the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

This message sent by South San Francisco Police Department on behalf of the Police Chiefs’ and Sheriff Association of San Mateo County.

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