Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $504,088)
Since 2013, Oklahoma Coalition Against Human Trafficking (OCAT) has been working to advance a multi-disciplinary response for human trafficking prevention, protection, and prosecution in Northeast Oklahoma as an unfunded task force. Under the leadership of the Family Safety Center (FSC), 37 agencies work together to build programs and partnerships to better support the prevention of human trafficking, protection of its victims, and prosecution of the offenders. Greater strides can be made in assisting human trafficking victims by growing and formalizing the structure of the coalition.
The purpose of the project will allow the OCAT, with Tulsa Police as it’s law enforcement partner, to battle the disturbing crimes of human trafficking more effectively in the Tulsa area. The primary activities will include rescuing and protecting victims from their abusers, providing greater services to victims, improving sharing and community outreach, enhancing prosecutorial success, creating greater victim centered and collaborative approaches to addressing human trafficking, protecting underserved communities, and enhancing data collection.
The formal name of the human trafficking task force will be the Oklahoma Coalition Against Trafficking and serve the greater area of Northeastern Oklahoma. The law enforcement agency partnered with OCAT is the Tulsa Police Department (TPD); the service provider applicant partner is the Family Safety Center. The funds received from this grant will strengthen the collaboration between the entities in fighting human trafficking and bringing healing to victims. TPD is requesting $672,088 in funds and the Family Safety Center is requesting $750,000.00.
TPD has had many human trafficking investigations and prosecutions involving the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office and the Northern District of Oklahoma’s Federal Prosecutors. From 2019 through 2021 the Northern District has prosecuted seven human trafficking cases, the Tulsa County District Attorney’s office prosecuted 60 cases, and TPD investigated 73 cases. OCAT and the FSC serviced many human trafficking victims in the Tulsa area. From 2019-2021 the FSC provided services to 17,482 clients; 18 of these were specific to human trafficking. FSC partners served 340 victims or persons in need of human trafficking assistance. With this grant, OCAT will become more effective at uncovering, rescuing, and providing healing resources to victims of human trafficking throughout the Tulsa area.