Task Force to Increase Awareness of Human Trafficking

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) Human Trafficking Task Force, a coalition of prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in San Antonio, met this week to review goals for the coming year, announced U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff, San Antonio Mayor Ron Niremberg, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and BCFS Health and Human Services Human Trafficking Interdiction Division (BCFS-HHS-HTI) Executive Director Chara McMichael.

The STOP Human Trafficking Task Force’s mission is to increase community awareness of all forms of human trafficking, disrupt trafficking organizations, rescue victims and hold traffickers accountable through effective investigation and prosecution.   The Task Force also works to expand resources of all area partners to effectively serve survivors of human trafficking.  The San Antonio Police Department serves as the lead law enforcement agency and BCFS-HHS-HTI serves as the lead victim services agency.

Task Force members provide specialized training and support for local law enforcement agencies and victim service providers to STOP human traffickers by identifying, arresting, and prosecuting them.   Task Force members also provide training to educational and business organizations throughout the San Antonio and South Texas communities to increase awareness and identification of all forms of human trafficking, including  adults and children who are exploited for the purposes of sex and labor.  Above all, the Task Force strives to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable victims  and rescue them from the hands of traffickers.  

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking and needs immediate assistance, call 911.  If you suspect human trafficking activities, please call the toll-free local human trafficking regional hotline at 1-844-843-6348 or 1-844-UIENDHT (U&I can END Human Trafficking). Trained professionals are ready to provide information and assistance. For additional information, please e-mail STOP-HT@bcfs.net.

The STOP Human Trafficking Task Force, chaired by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, consists of experts dedicated to investigating and prosecuting incidents of human trafficking at both the state and federal levels. In addition to the San Antonio Police Department and BCFS-HHS-HTI, partners include the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Bexar County Juvenile Probation, Texas Attorney General’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA), U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

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