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Media > News Releases > September 2012 > Attorney General DeWine, Salvation Army in Central Ohio Announce Combined Effort to Combat Human Tra

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Attorney General DeWine, Salvation Army in Central Ohio Announce Combined Effort to Combat Human Trafficking


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Salvation Army in Central Ohio Director of Professional and Community Services Michelle Hannan announced today the formation of a new partnership to combat human trafficking in the Columbus region.

The two agencies are pooling their resources to form the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Collaborative to bring greater focus to the problem of human trafficking, add capacity to respond to human trafficking cases, and build communication channels across jurisdictional boundaries and between law enforcement, prosecutors, and social service providers.

"I can't stress enough how serious of a problem human trafficking is in Ohio," said Attorney General Mike DeWine.  "With this new partnership we aim to prevent traffickers from escaping notice by moving from one jurisdiction to another and improve the opportunities available for trafficking victims to get the help they need."

The group's operations are being funded by two U.S. Department of Justice grants totaling nearly $700,000.

"The Salvation Army is very pleased to partner with Attorney General Mike DeWine's office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in this comprehensive approach to combating all forms of human trafficking," said Hannan "We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with law enforcement while we build Central Ohio's capacity to assist people who are trapped in labor and sex trafficking situations."

The funding will primarily be used to:

  • Fund additional investigative support for both sex and labor trafficking cases by hiring two new Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) agents to focus exclusively on human trafficking issues 
  • Fund a full-time victim advocate to be co-located in the task force office 
  • Fund victim assistance programs with an emphasis on enhancing resources already provided by the Salvation Army 

Members of the collaborative will identify human trafficking victims through proactive, victim-centered and collaborative law enforcement methods, while comprehensive victim services will be enhanced by bringing mental and physical health screenings to victims, as well as providing safe, temporary housing immediately following a rescue.

The Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney's Office will also play a role in the collaborative by helping with suspect prosecution, data collection, and community outreach efforts.

Collaborative members will also work closely with the Ohio Attorney General's Central Ohio Human Trafficking Taskforce which includes officers from the Columbus Police Department, BCI, the Powell Police Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Media Contacts:

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill DelGreco: 614-466-3840

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