New Human Trafficking Task Force In Cuyahoga County
Ohio law enforcement officials have formed a new task force to combat human trafficking in Cuyahoga County. From member station WKSU, Kabir Bhatia reports.
At least one investigator for the task force will be on-call in Cleveland 24/7.
This area is unique for trafficking due to its proximity to Canada, several expressways and also Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to Cuyahoga County Sherriff Clifford Pinkney.
He says the key for the new task force is collaboration at the local, state and federal levels using traditional channels as well as social media.
“If someone is trafficked in Westlake, that pimp isn’t going to stay in Westlake. They’ll go to Independence or Brooklyn or now they’re in Detroit. Sharing that information is very critical.”
The task force began its work earlier this year, and has already rescued nine victims and identified 56 possible victims who are being trafficked for sex.
Homeland Security officials involved in the campaign say the goal is to find the victims, then work backwards to find the traffickers themselves.