Human Trafficking Task Force
In 2022, the Kent County Sheriff's Office was the recipient of a grant through the Office of Victims of Crime to form a human trafficking task force. Teaming with The Salvation Army, the task force takes a victim-centered approach and is focused on victim care and recovery as well as the investigation and prosecution of traffickers.
Lieutenant Jason Richards
The mission of the Human Trafficking Task Force is to develop sustainable partnerships between Victim Service Providers and Law Enforcement and create a victim-centered approach to combat human trafficking and provide comprehensive, high-quality social services to all victims of human trafficking.
What is Human Trafficking?
U.S. law defines human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor against their will.
Basically, trafficking occurs when a perpetrator takes action (induces, recruits, harbors, transports, provides), and then employs the means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of compelling the victim to provide commercial sex acts or labor services.
People may be vulnerable to trafficking if they:
- Have an unstable living situation
- Have previously experienced other forms of violence such as sexual abuse or domestic violence
- Have run away or are involved in the juvenile justice or child welfare system
- Are undocumented immigrants
- Are facing poverty or economic need
- Have a caregiver or family member who has a substance use issue
- Are addicted to drugs or alcohol
If you suspect human trafficking, please contact the Kent County Sheriff's Office Human Trafficking Task Force:
(616) 632-6125 (weekdays)
(616) 632-6100, option 1 (after hours)
Or Anonymously Through
National Human Trafficking Hotline
1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to 233733