- Suffolk County
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)
The proposed project is a collaborative effort between the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) and Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk (VIBS). The Task Force has been active in Suffolk County, NY since 2018 and will continue to address issues surrounding human trafficking in the county through our robust multi-agency task force, the Suffolk County Anti-Trafficking Initiative (SCATI). Suffolk County is on the eastern end of Long Island and is a geographical area of over 900 square miles containing both rural and suburban areas. The western edge of the county is only 20 miles from New York City.
Under the 2018 OVC Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking Grant, SCPD and ECLI-VIBS established and co-led the SCATI, a truly collaborative task force made up of a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement, social service providers, NGOs, faith-based partners, educators, community leaders, and trafficking survivors. Between December 2018 and May 2022, SCATI partners worked together to provide at least 19,095 units of services (approximately 4,773 hours) to 296 trafficking victims (271 sex and 25 labor trafficking victims), conduct 127 investigations and 110 prosecutions, train 5,075 professionals about human trafficking, hold 83 outreach events, share data across agencies, create 3 professional research reports, and start an active, inspirational Survivor Advisory Board (SAB). The prosecutorial efforts resulted in 22 arrests and 15 investigations in 2018, 15 arrests and 11 investigations in 2019, and 21 arrests and 15 investigations in 2020. ECLI-VIBS provided services to 84 trafficking victims in 2019 (including 1 labor victim), 91 victims 2020 (6 labor victims), 129 victims in 2021 (18 labor victims), and 120 victims in the first 5 months of 2022 (23 labor victims).
This funding will expand the critical work of the task force under Category 2: Expanding Human Trafficking Task Force Effectiveness. The SCPD is requesting $750,000 and VIBS is requesting $750,000 in federal funding. This critical funding will continue to strengthen existing collaborative task force partnerships, expand partnerships, continue collaborations to investigate and prosecute traffickers, create sustainable systems of helping victims across agencies, expand to help more labor trafficking victims, further expand data sharing across agencies, continue providing collaborative community education with the help of our SAB, and provide more formalized peer support to newer task forces.