Sex Sells, But In Dallas, Police Are Relaunching The Vice Unit With A New Approach To Human Trafficking

January 7, 2019

A law enforcement official recently told us, in stark terms, what the reality is for victims of human trafficking here in Dallas. A person trapped into “the life,” the official said, is forced to engage in sex acts for money and is left with little hope and no sense of what it means to trust another person, experience joy, or even know friendship.

It is gratifying then to know that this week the Dallas Police Department will make news by unveiling part of a new strategy developed under Chief U. Renee Hall’s direction to curb the scourge of human sex trafficking in our community.

That approach will involve several elements. On November 28, the department is relaunching its vice unit, which was disbanded last year amid an internal investigation. It will also train officers on how to combat trafficking with new tools and a new philosophy. Put simply, that philosophy will focus on serving the victims of this crime — the people who are being trafficked, who are being viciously exploited and then cast aside.

The overarching philosophy has several important implications. Rather than simply engaging in a sting operation, arresting a woman who offers sex for money, and then charging and convicting her, the police department will pursue a strategy that has a good chance of moving that woman and others like her out of the life.

That strategy will involve working with local non-profit organizations as well as local, state and federal agencies to create a unified front against trafficking. The aim is to help those who are being trafficked regain control over their lives and build a better future for themselves. In some cases, this will mean those who have been trafficked will face prosecution. But in most cases, the approach is intended to ensure an interaction with law enforcement is an opportunity for a trafficked person to get out of a world of exploitation, degradation and, often, addiction.

To read the full story on Dallas News: Click Here

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