Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $125,000)
Under this award, the Erie County Sheriff's Office 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 Office for Victims of Crime Human Trafficking Services provider to identify and rescue victims of human trafficking, 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.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) will use the 2010 Human Trafficking Task Force Initiative funds to support personnel, training and supplies. Specifically, the grant funds will continue to provide support to the Western District of New York (WDNY) Task Force and Alliance under the leadership of ECSO. Local law enforcement agencies and ECSO will work collaboratively with federal law enforcement agencies on human trafficking cases to assist victims. The ECSO in partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office will continue to work on task force issues to better achieve goals and successful prosecutions. All law enforcement agencies will continue to partner with the Office of Crime Victim's Services to generate successful outcomes for victims. Law enforcement training activities will serve to interdict situations in which forced prostitution, indentured servitude, peonage, or other forms of labor abuse that are sometimes mistaken for other crimes are appropriately recognized as such in order to insure victims' safety and access to services. Training will also be continued for other first responders, faith-based organizations, support groups, education entities, at-risk refugee populations, and youth to increase public awareness concerning human trafficking.