Indiana expands anti-human trafficking unit

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) The Indiana attorney general is ramping up efforts to combat human trafficking in the state.

Curtis Hill on Monday announce plans to expand the Indiana Attorney General Investigations Division’s Human Trafficking Investigations Unit. The unit works to raise public awareness and educate residents, schools, employers about the warning signs and dangers of human trafficking. It also works with law enforcement.

Hill said in a press release that he plans to assign additional investigators and attorneys, including police officers and prosecutors, to the unit.

“The predators engaging in this deplorable criminal activity need to know they will be sought out, captured and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Hill. “Victims trapped in this illegal enterprise who are desperate for a better way of life need to know there is help and hope.”

Human trafficking – whether labor trafficking or sex trafficking – is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world, Hill’s office said in the release. In a 15 Finds Out special report last year, Fort Wayne police said that sex trafficking was the fastest-growing crime in Fort Wayne.

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Monday.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center can be reached at 1-888-373-7888. The organization lists tips on its website intended to help citizens recognize possible warning signs of human trafficking so they can notify authorities anytime they believe they have spotted victims in need of aid.