San Mateo County Rolls Out Plan to Help Human-Trafficking Victims

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Mateo County law-enforcement agencies have rolled out guidelines in dealing with human-trafficking victims. Kris Sanchez reports. (Published Monday, Mar 17, 2014)

    San Mateo County law-enforcement agencies have rolled out new guidelines for dealing with human-trafficking victims.

    The idea, which stems from the Bay Area having one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the nation, is to make sure anyone who might come into contact with a victim knows what to do.

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    "I'll measure the success by seeing an increase in the number of prosecutions, both apprehension and prosecution," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.

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    More than 20 police chiefs from San Mateo County, along with the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office, representatives from the FBI, Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney's Office were on hand Monday for the roll out of what they call a "victim-centered protocol for human trafficking."

    The guidelines include training for people like flight attendants and hotel workers to be able to identify signs that someone is being trafficked.

    San Mateo County officials will also work on outreach programs to non-governmental agencies to support victims when they are removed from their situation.

    Speier said the next step will be securing more funding for victims services. Also on the list is addressing the foster care system because many of the young victims are runaways, officials said.