Sheriff’s Office joins coalition against human trafficking

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Members of the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday attended the Attorney General’s 2020 Human Trafficking Summit to continue effective methods in identifying, intervening and ending human trafficking nationally.

Due to ongoing health and safety concerns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the summit’s one-day physical attendance format was replaced with a special webinar of presentations from subject matter experts.

The new online format allowed for a larger number of registrants, with more than 2,000 individuals across 27 different states in attendance, to include the CCSO.

“Freedom is what’s at stake when we turn a blind eye to human trafficking,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “While Citrus County has not experienced human trafficking directly, we are allies for those communities who have. Together through this training, we strengthen our commitment to end human trafficking, holding these appalling perpetrators accountable and seeking justice for these brave survivors.”

The Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking was created through legislation in 2014. This 15-member Council, chaired by Attorney General Moody, builds on existing state and local partnerships working to combat human trafficking. Members of the council include law enforcement officers, prosecutors, legislators, as well as experts in the fields of health, education, and social services.

The council conducts this annual summit to bring together local, state, and national leaders working to eradicate all forms of trafficking. Breakout sessions include recent updates and developments in the following areas:

  • legal and law enforcement
  • service delivery
  • policy and research
  • medical and healthcare

Participants of the online summit engaged in conversations about modern case examples of human trafficking and evaluated the best law enforcement methodologies used to combat human trafficking efforts. The Department of State’s June 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report indicates traffickers are robbing a staggering 24.9 million people globally of their freedom and basic human dignity.

Attendees of this summit seek to strengthen their mutual responses and dispel misperceptions of human trafficking to reduce this staggering number.

The 2020 Human Trafficking Summit is hosted by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking, Inc., and the Junior Leagues of Florida State Public Affairs Committee along with the University of Central Florida as an educational partner.

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