Community comes together to help prevent sex trafficking - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Community comes together to help prevent sex trafficking

Voice of Hope hosted the first annual Sex Trafficking Allied Response Summit (source: KCBD video) Voice of Hope hosted the first annual Sex Trafficking Allied Response Summit (source: KCBD video)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Voice of Hope Rape Crisis Center hosted a special event Thursday to help teach our community how to fight sex trafficking.

For the last two days local law enforcement, medical personnel and social workers came together under one roof for the first annual Sex Trafficking Allied Response Summit put on by Voice of Hope.

Detective Chad Opitz came into town all the way from Beaverton, Oregon to speak about this. He's worked on sex trafficking cases since 2008.

Trafficking trends are ever-changing, especially with social media, so speaking at summits like this becomes even more important.

"They're learning about how to identify specific ads, online ads. Like on Back Page. They're learning about techniques to use for both interviewing victims and suspects. They're learning about the correlation between strip clubs and sex trafficking," Detective Opitz said.

But Detective Opitz says the most valuable thing those attending can learn, is that each group needs to work together to help these victims.

"On the law enforcement side, the victim assistant side, that is the key ingredient that needs to happen to get all of these people in the same room. Not only to attend training together but then start those conversations together so they'll work together for that same goal," Detective Opitz said.

Lubbock ISD Police Chief Jody Scifres represented his department at the conference, and says just by sitting at the table he learned about new resources he didn't know Lubbock had.

"It's not just a law enforcement issue. It's a social issue, it's an environmental issue. Bringing all the agencies together to work on it instead of working independent of each other is really important," Chief Scifres said.

He says now he'll take back what he learned and continue to educate the rest of his officers on it, including signs to look for to spot a potential trafficker or a victim.

"We're always looking for different ways to protect our children. This has been an issue for a long time, and we want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to prevent something from happening to our children," he said.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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