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Officials confirm human trafficking cases have increased, here's what law enforcement is doing to help

Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 09, 2023
  • A brand new capital city human trafficking taskforce is established in Leon County
  • It will unite local, state, and federal efforts to address increasing numbers, say officals
  • Watch the video to find out how they are tackling this issue and why they are looking to our community for help

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

If you've been following along with my North Monroe series, you'll know we've been talking about this area as a hotspot for human trafficking.

Area agencies are stepping in with a new initiative to address this issue. Law enforcement agencies explain why it's important to establish this service right now.

It's called the Capital City Human Trafficking Task Force.

Sheriff McNeil said it's a problem you might not expect in Tallahassee but it's here.

"Victims of human trafficking occur in our community but quite honestly they often go unnoticed," said McNeil.

To put it into context, Nick Ingegno of the Assistant Special Agent in charge with the Department of Homeland Security said about 20 million women, children and men are human trafficked worldwide. 80% of that is forced labor and 20% of that is sex trafficking.

The task force connects key local, state, and federal agencies including the TPD, Florida State Attorney's Office, and the FBI. They are all committed to tackling this issue in Leon County.

It will also help area organizations like Children's Home Society of Florida. A portion of their work helps with the process of investigating childhood neglect.

Tani Thompson is the program manager at the Children Advocacy Center. She said this taskforce will increase support for victims.

"Bringing awareness, it will heal the community a lot," said Thompson.

She hopes the taskforce will be a call to action for the community.

"This is something we all need to be aware of, and we need to make it all of our personal problems," said Thompson.

From the North Monroe to the Sheriff's Office, these agencies have been operating on this project since September. Officials said this taskforce will allow them to work closer, have more regular conversations, and doing a better job of holding criminals accountable.