OCTOBER 8, 2014

Governor Brewer announces comprehensive law enforcement training, launches new website to combat human trafficking

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PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer has just launched two significant efforts to combat human trafficking in Arizona.

In 2013, Governor Brewer identified human trafficking as a top policy priority. She created the Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking, naming Cindy McCain and Gil Orrantia as Co-Chairs and charging members with identifying opportunities to strengthen current laws and practices, better assist victims and ultimately reduce the incidence of the crime in Arizona. Two key recommendations from the Task Force included the implementation of a statewide public awareness campaign to educate the general public on sex trafficking issues, and the establishment of certified comprehensive sex trafficking training as a basic requirement for all new Arizona law enforcement recruits.

“It is a moral imperative that we do everything in our power to protect our state and our citizens from this horrendous crime against humanity,” said Governor Brewer. “Public awareness and law enforcement training are vital components in addressing the scourge of human trafficking. Together, we can shine a light on human trafficking – educating and equipping the public and peace officers alike – and work to end the sexual exploitation of Arizona’s most vulnerable. I am proud of what we have accomplished over a short period time, and grateful to everyone who remains committed to this worthy cause.”

Today, Governor Brewer and the Arizona Human Trafficking Council are proud to announce the launch of the new state website, EndSexTrafficking.AZ.gov, an important tool to inform and encourage Arizonans to be a voice in the fight against this heinous crime.  Prominently displayed on the website is a new PSA featuring Governor Brewer and Council Co-Chairs Cindy McCain and Gil Orrantia as well as the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number, 1-888-373-7888. Other information on human trafficking, Arizona laws, recent news, training and other resources are also included on this website.

Additionally, the Governor announced today that, in collaboration with the newly established Arizona Human Trafficking Council, the Arizona Peace Officer and Standards Training Board (AZPOST) has addressed another major recommendation of the Governor’s Task Force.
Beginning January 2015, verified sex trafficking training will become a basic requirement for all new Arizona law enforcement recruits. By mandating this new training – which will include nine classroom hours dedicated to sex trafficking, as well as comprehensive exams on performance objectives related to each topic – Arizona continues to be on the cutting edge of this crucial issue nationally.

Each year, approximately 700 new law enforcement officers graduate from Arizona police academies. To reach existing officers, AZPOST is creating a sex trafficking training video to be distributed to law enforcement agencies statewide. Following this incredible effort, the Council is working to ensure that other professions across the state receive consistent and comprehensive training to identify trafficking victims and refer them to appropriate services.

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