Howard County Police Department Fund to Combat Human Trafficking, Help Victims

In an effort to fight human trafficking and assist victims, assets seized through human trafficking criminal arrests in Howard County will be used to fund support services for victims and to aid police with investigations.  As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

Created by the county council early last year, the Human Trafficking Task Force recommended creating the fund, which was set in stone by County Executive Allan Kittleman on Aug. 28. While half of all assets seized through the arrest of human trafficking criminals will be given to a nonprofit agency for direct support services to victims, the other half will assist police investigations, including additional surveillance equipment, staff training and overtime salary expenses for the officers involved.

“The money and proceeds [human traffickers] have taken from others to build their criminal enterprise, we’ll use that to provide services for victims, to provide resources for the investigators who are handling that as well as some of the other services, [like] required counseling for victims or drug rehabilitation or temporary housing or transportation,” Police Chief Gary Gardner said. “That typically would be handled along the same framework that we have with our drug forfeiture account.”

Gardner said the department must submit a request to the county’s Chief Administrative Office to utilize the fund, as well as a proposal, discussing how the assets forfeiture money will be used. After review by Chief Administrative Officer Lonnie Robbins, the fund will then be dispersed.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.