By Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree
Human trafficking is modern day slavery and affects every corner of the world. Texas and Denton County are no exception. I-35 being an un-tolled highway and a major cross-country, north-south route, is one of the main trafficking routes in the country.
Human trafficking involves the use of force, coercion or fraud to obtain some type of labor or sex act. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations. Traffickers often recognize and take advantage of people who are vulnerable.
There are approximately 25 million enslaved worldwide. In Texas at any given time there are 234,000 victims of labor trafficking and 79,000 victims of minor sex trafficking. In order to combat this issue, I, with the approval of Denton County Commissioners Court, will implement a Human Trafficking Investigation Unit.
The unit will begin with a Sergeant and two investigators whose sole purpose will be the detection and investigation of human trafficking. The unit will receive specialized training and coordinate with other local, state and federal agencies to detect, investigate and make arrests of those involved in the trafficking of human beings.
I’m sorry that this unit is necessary, but I’m confident it will be successful in saving those being trafficked and bringing to justice those responsible.
If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the US National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or call Denton County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-388-TIPS. If you or someone you know if in immediate danger, please call 911.
We are currently hiring several positions! If you are interested in a career in Law Enforcement, join Denton County Sheriff’s Office and be a part of a great organization. Visit our website to apply: www.governmentjobs.com/careers/dentoncounty