SuperTalk Mississippi

Investigators trained to fight human trafficking

Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communication Inc.

The fight against human trafficking continues in Mississippi. 

This morning, nearly 75 investigators from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies from around the state came together to begin an ‘Amber Alert Training Seminar’ at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officer Training Academy in Pearl. 

Hosted by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn’s Commission on Public Policy and the Center for Violence Prevention, the seminar is another way that Mississippi is attempting to stop the rise of human trafficking. 

“I am pleased to see this many law enforcement investigators taking interest in this training,” Gunn said. “We recognize that consistent, across-the-board training is vital in curbing human trafficking. The legislation the House passed at the beginning of session includes specialized training as a need in this area.”

The investigators in attendance will be trained by representatives from the National Criminal Justice Training Center on interrogation techniques for Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation.

The Center for Violence Prevention in Mississippi organized the event and assisted with the crafting of the House legislation. The center provides a place of refuge and rehabilitation for human trafficking victims.

“The Center for Violence Prevention, through The Tower human trafficking facility, is providing rapid response advocates to law enforcement across the state to assist in screening and identifying victims and finding placement for them,” said Sandy Middleton, executive director for the Center for Violence Prevention in Mississippi. “The Amber Alert trainings provide experts in sex trafficking investigations to come to our state and offer face-to-face training and tips for our law enforcement personnel. Healing from these traumatic experiences takes evidence-based programming and some time.  We are excited to offer this opportunity!”

The legislation that Gunn spoke of was passed unanimously through the House in January, and if signed into law, the bill would ensure that a minor cannot be charged with prostitution while also providing specialized services to help victims of human trafficking. 

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