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City Elected Officials, Partners and Survivor Highlight Anti-Human Trafficking ProgressCity Elected Officials, Partners and Survivor Highlight Anti-Human Trafficking Progress<div class="ExternalClassE8926E19555945FDB63A335873B09D15"><p>Today, Vice Mayor Jim Waring, co-chair of the Phoenix Human Trafficking Task Force, hosted a news conference at Phoenix City Hall to highlight progress and to raise awareness of the fight to make Arizona the national leader in fighting the crime. Cindy McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, Mayor Greg Stanton and Carolyn Jones, a trafficking survivor, also spoke at the event. <br><br>Mayor Greg Stanton established the Phoenix Human Trafficking Task Force in December 2013 to establish the city as a model in addressing and combatting human trafficking. The task force developed a two-tiered approach called the COMPASS Plan to fight trafficking. The plan consists of an evidence based, community-wide awareness campaign; and a series of short, medium, and long term actions in four areas: community awareness and outreach; training; law enforcement; and victim services. There has been substantial progress to date on many fronts. <br><br>"Human trafficking happens every day in every major city," Vice Mayor Jim Waring said. "We're working to make Phoenix the last city in the country where traffickers will attempt to commit this crime. We are moving on all fronts, strengthening our network of service providers to help victims escape, coordinating efforts across the public safety spectrum to improve our law enforcement capabilities and raising awareness of parents and residents everywhere of the warning signs of trafficking activity."<br><br>"Public awareness is one of the most effective ways to combat human trafficking," Mayor Greg Stanton said. "Phoenix has long been recognized as a leader in raising awareness and responding to human trafficking.  We want other cities to be able to use what we've come up with on a day-to-day basis, as well as when they host large events."<br><br>Since Phoenix established its task force, the Phoenix Police Department's Vice Enforcement Unit, the only one of its kind in the state, trained local police departments in various proactive vice related techniques through its Operation Blue Wave program, improving the state's overall ability to respond to human trafficking. <br><br>As of Dec. 18, 2014, as part of ongoing collaborative law enforcement operations to crack down on trafficking, a task force of public safety personnel from cities throughout the greater Phoenix area, and state and federal agencies has rescued 11 juveniles, identified and offered services to 137 adult prostitutes, arrested 53 pimps and 311 Johns for soliciting commercial sex with adults and juveniles.<br><br>"I was delighted to join with Mayor Stanton and Councilman Waring to showcase some of the great work going on in Arizona to fight human trafficking," said Cindy H. McCain, Co-Chair Governor's Human Trafficking Council. "The partnership between the Governor's Human Trafficking Council and the Phoenix City Task Force shows the deep commitment by so many members of our community to truly make Arizona a fly-over state for trafficking. Our vulnerable citizens deserve our best efforts, and we are working hard together to make Arizona off limits to human trafficking."<br><br>Through TRUST (Training and Resources United to Stop Trafficking) and Hickey Family Foundation sponsorships, more than 75 local public safety personnel attended national trafficking-related trainings in the past year. More than 900 hospitality industry workers have completed training on trafficking through the S.A.F.E. (Safeguarding Adolescents From Exploitation) Project with O'Connor House, a task force member. <br><br>The city of Phoenix also produced a training video hosted by Vice Mayor Waring, now airing on the city's government news channel PHXTV and viewable online at phoenix.gov/stophumantrafficking, that outlines for parents and community members the warning signs of trafficking behaviors. The video features an interview with a long-time Phoenix Police detective with years of experience. <br><br>The city of Phoenix also is displaying awareness materials throughout city facilities and is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security to use their Blue Campaign informational materials while incorporating the city brand to it. The city also has worked with Harkins Theaters to have human trafficking awareness movie screen ads appear throughout January at one of their Phoenix-area movie complexes. <br><br>Phoenix Human Trafficking Task Force members include O'Connor House, ASU School of Social Work, Arizona Attorney General's Office, Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association, Maricopa County Attorney's Office, TRUST, Natalie's House, Southwest Airlines, Arizona Foundation for Women, Hickey Family Foundation, Phoenix Dream Center, Tumbleweed,  Ascension Lutheran Church and the city of Phoenix.<br><br>More information on the city's efforts is available on the Stop Human Trafficking website at phoenix.gov/stophumantrafficking. People that suspect human trafficking can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.</p></div>1/13/2015 5:00:00 PMDavid UrbinatoCouncil District 2 - 602-262-7445602-495-5405