The State of Oregon has identified 746 victims of human trafficking across Oregon in a 12-month period between October 2018 and October 2019. The new data was collected by the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).
In commemoration of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, on Friday, Jan. 10, 2019 Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Rebecca Jones Gaston, director of the DHS Child Welfare Program, honored the efforts of Oregonians who have worked to prevent human trafficking, including an award honoring an inter-agency team which stopped a trafficking ring in Lane County. The awards ceremony was open to the media, which has also help raise awareness about Oregon’s current intervention efforts and recognizes the work of Oregonians who are taking a trauma informed and victim-centered approach to trafficking intervention.
“Human trafficking and the exploitation of minors, sadly, affects every corner of Oregon. The individuals and community members we are honoring on Human Trafficking Awareness Day represent the courage, trust, and strong inter-agency partnerships necessary to help keep our most vulnerable Oregonians, especially children, safe from traffickers,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
“DHS is proud to recognize the efforts of our Lane County and Clackamas Child Welfare awardees for their teamwork and collaboration,” said Jones Gaston. “Preventing human trafficking is not just one organization’s goal, it takes everyone to work together to make a difference in this issue, which is why the teamwork and passion exhibited by these awardees is so critical.”
The awards were presented on Friday, Jan. 10 at the Oregon DOJ office at 100 SW Market Street in Portland, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Team Award: Lane County Team
Lane County Child Welfare Office: Susan Lopez, Tanya Huff, Melissa Erickson, Kyle Belknap, Bridget Byfield, Chuck Nyby, Melissa McCormack.
Federal Bureau of Investigation –Special Agent Isabel Scharn, Special Agent Damara Schlitz, SOS Joseph Peoples, Victim Specialist Florence Mackey.
Lane County Department of Youth Services Probation Officer Jordan Sies, DelBrico Kriner and MH specialist Martin Starr.
Eugene Police Department – Detective Curtis Newell, Detective Jed McGuire.
Albany Police Department- Officer Gabe Flores, Albany Police Department
Above & Beyond Award
Advocate: Tanel Tucker, Safety Compass
District Attorney: Mike Botthof, Multnomah County District Attorney
Law Enforcement: Officer Heather Hisel, Milwaukie Police Department
DHS: Kelly Walsh, Clackamas Child Welfare Office
Other: Tom Perez, EPIK