Lawmakers announce launch of human trafficking recovery taskforce
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Lawmakers on Wednesday announced the launch of the new Regionalized Human Tracking Recovery Taskforce.
They said the taskforce will be working towards a goal of ending human trafficking and addressing the needs of victims.
It will give victims resources and bring together law enforcement and the community.
Its hub will be in Hartford.
“As terrible as it is we often miss it. That’s inexcusable,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
The push is to help the unknown number of human trafficking victims in the Greater Hartford region.
There will be more tools, more money and more resources put into prevention. Traumatized victims will be helped with recovery.
“The numbers don’t begin to scratch the surface of the real issue,” said Krystal Rich with the Connecticut Children’s Alliance.
According to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, there were more than 240 victims of child trafficking in 2021. The vast majority of them were female. Most of them included sex trafficking, but also labor.
That’s just children. Adults are trafficked too.
There were 456 arrests involving human trafficking between 2016 and 2021, with 109 in 2017 and 53 in 2021.
Officials believe the numbers are much worse than this.
“It is one of the most vile crimes there is. It is modern day slavery, and it exists in our communities,” Bronin said.
The state’s attorney’s office along with local Police Chiefs and the Connecticut Children’s Alliance have formed a Human Trafficking Recovery Taskforce.
It focuses on eight towns and cities in the Greater Hartford region. The task force is funded by the Justice Department.
“I think this is going to be a great partnership. We’re definitely going to have a positive impact on human trafficking in Hartford County,” said Manchester Police Chief William Darby.
“It’s a scourge on our country,” said Chief State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin. “I can feel the energy, it’s time to get work.”
The task force was officially launched Wednesday. Its hub will be in Hartford on Jennings Road.
“The power of this partnership and this grant is that it will give us more tools, more resources, and the relationships to identify where there are signs and to go after it aggressively,” said Bronin.
That taskforce will also be working to hold traffickers accountable.
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