ST. PAUL — To help law enforcement improve sex trafficking investigations, the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (DPS-OJP) recently awarded eight Sex Trafficking Investigation and Training Grants to agencies across the state for 2017.
The statewide grants totaled $799,268 compared with $487,500 last year. The grants will be used for new or enhanced multi-jurisdictional projects, or to provide training and/or consultation for law enforcement on sex trafficking investigations. The increase was due to additional funding appropriated by the legislature and signed by Governor Dayton.
“Sex trafficking is pervasive and it hurts women and children everywhere in Minnesota,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “These new grants will help law enforcement agencies crack down on criminals who prey on Minnesota’s most vulnerable individuals. I encourage victims of trafficking to contact Minnesota’s Day One Crisis Line or their local police department. All Minnesotans deserve to live free of violence.”
Services and resources can be found online.
Sex trafficking is a major concern for Minnesota law enforcement. In 2016, 314 youth and adult trafficking victims, or at-risk-juveniles of being trafficked, were referred to services across the state.
Last year, there were 249 possible sex trafficking reports referred or initiated by the six grantees. Of those 249, 172 were investigated and 35 cases were charged out.
In 2016, grantees provided 200 hours of training to 1,524 law enforcement individuals. Grantees also provided 145 hours of education on sex trafficking to 2,329 non-law enforcement individuals.
“Taking advantage of youth and adults to use them for sex should concern every Minnesotan,” said Raeone Magnuson, Office of Justice Programs director. “Providing resources and training to law enforcement enables them to strategically investigate sex trafficking cases to recover the highest risk victims as well as target the traffickers in ways they have not been able to do so in the past.”
|Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and Department of Health
||Sex Trafficking Investigations Conference
|Duluth Police Department
||Sex Trafficking Outreach Worker
||St. Louis, Lake & Carlton Counties|
|Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
||Sex Trafficking Investigator
||Fond Du Lac Reservation, St. Louis, Lake and Carlton Counties|
|Lower Sioux Indian Community
||Sex Trafficking Investigator
||Redwood & Renville Counties|
|Minneapolis Police Department
||Criminal Analyst and Information Sharing Portal
||Hennepin County & Statewide|
|New Ulm Police Department
||Brown, Blue Earth, Nicollet County Anti-Trafficking Team (BBENCATT) Investigations Support
||Brown, Blue Earth & Nicollet Counties |
|St. Paul Police Department
||Criminal Analyst added to the Human Trafficking Multi-Jurisdictional Project
||Ramsey County & Statewide|
|Washington County Attorney’s Office
||Program Coordinator and Investigation Support
||Washington County & Statewide |
About the Office of Justice Programs
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides leadership and resources to reduce crime, improve the functioning of the criminal justice system and assist crime victims. To accomplish this, OJP administers grants; provides training and technical assistance; provides research and data; works to protect crime victims’ rights; and provides reparations benefits to victims of violent crime.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.