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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Law enforcement agencies and organizations across the country are diligently working to eradicate the appalling injustice of human trafficking but often find that scarce resources and a lack of awareness about the signs and effects of human trafficking present a roadblock to ending this form of modern slavery. When Attorney General Daniel Cameron took office last year, he set out to address those roadblocks by seeking additional resources to help raise awareness about human trafficking and develop partnerships with law enforcement, legislators, and advocacy groups to equip community stakeholders with the tools needed to fight back against human trafficking in Kentucky.
Our Office of Trafficking and Abuse Prevention and Prosecution (TAPP) applied for an Office of Community Policing Services (COPS Office) grant to assist in our efforts. In our submission to the Community Policing Development (CPD) Microgrants program, we requested funding to launch a human trafficking awareness and training campaign to educate Kentuckians about the dangers of human trafficking and to collaborate with local law enforcement to provide educational training to community leaders. In July of this year, we were honored to be awarded $100,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) COPS Office to develop and launch our proposed project
In addition to submitting this proposal, earlier this year, we worked with the Kentucky General Assembly to enact human trafficking policy reform designed to increase awareness of human trafficking and align Kentucky’s statutes with existing federal laws. During the 2020 legislative session, Kentucky’s legislature passed HB 2, arming our office with new ways to crack down on human trafficking. The new law, which took effect on July 15, 2020, makes it easier for our office to prosecute traffickers and aids us in raising awareness about human trafficking by requiring airports, truck stops, bus stations, and train stations to post signs displaying the National Human Trafficking Hotline number.
The CPD grant works hand in hand with Kentucky’s new legislation and advances our efforts to address human trafficking within the Commonwealth. Kentucky’s “Your Eyes Save Lives” media campaign is set to launch in January 2021. The campaign will mobilize community members in all of the Commonwealth’s 120 counties to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking. The campaign will raise awareness of human trafficking by shattering victim stereotypes and educating Kentuckians on the signs of trafficking and reporting methods. The campaign’s message will be featured on traditional and digital media platforms like billboards, social media, radio, and print publications. In addition to raising awareness, our campaign will develop and deliver a toolkit to train community educators, law enforcement officers, and faith-based organizational leaders to recognize the signs of human trafficking in middle and high school students.
This project is one step toward ending human trafficking in the Commonwealth, and we are grateful to U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr, the DOJ, and the COPS Office for supporting our efforts by awarding our office a CPD Microgrant.
If your office or organization is interested in developing your own awareness and training campaign to combat human trafficking, we invite you to contact our office by calling 502-696-5300.
Elizabeth Kuhn and Krista Locke
Office of the Attorney General
Commonwealth of Kentucky
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