Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $170,000)
Under this award, Collier County will further enhance and operate a victim centered human trafficking task force in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office, federal law enforcement, and their human trafficking services provider to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking and to proactively investigate human trafficking and prosecute traffickers. The primary goal of this program is to identify and rescue foreign victims of trafficking through a victim centered, proactive investigation strategy. The secondary goal is the interdiction of trafficking and the successful prosecution of traffickers.
Collier County will use the 2010 Human Trafficking Task Force Initiative funds to support personnel, training, and community awareness programs for the Collier County Sheriff's Human Trafficking Unit (Unit). Specifically, the Unit will increase the identification and the interdiction of human trafficking in its various forms, whether it is forced prostitution, indenture servitude, peonage, or other forms of forced labor. They will continue to enhance and maintain close working relationships with victim service providers, faith-based and community organizations, and federal law enforcement agencies in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Office. The Unit is comprised of one detective/investigator and one victim advocate who are supervised by the sergeant of the Specialized Investigations Section of the Organized Crime Bureau. They assist trafficking victims with applications for T-visas and continued presence in the United States, ensuring that once a victim of human trafficking has been identified, proper protocols will be followed. Protocol includes contacting collaborative partners who can assist the victim in completing a visa application, and assisting the victim with pre-certification assistance until such time as the certification is provided.