St. Pete police announce new human trafficking task force

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The St. Petersburg Police Department has announced the establishment of a regional human trafficking task force.

The announcement comes after the agency received a $741,556 federal grant to create the task force.

The department held a press conference on Wednesday to share more information about the program, which was created to provide services to victims of human trafficking.

Chief Anthony Holloway and U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez and representatives from other agency partners were all in attendance.

The task force is expected to focus on educating officers and the public about human trafficking, as well as coordinate with support programs and resources to help victims, using technology that makes it easier to collect and share data across jurisdictions.

“Human trafficking victims are real and too many of them are children whose innocence is forcibly taken from them with devastating and often lasting consequences.  Only through a direct and concerted effort will we be able to make a difference and eradicate human trafficking from our community,” Holloway said.

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