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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 17, 2016

U.S. Attorney Names New Coordinator to Human Trafficking Task Force for the Northern District of Alabama

Federal Task Force Teams with Law Enforcement and State and Local Task Forces

BIRMINGHAM – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama has named a new coordinator for its Human Trafficking Task Force, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier Carter will lead the Northern District’s task force, which works with law enforcement agencies and state and local task forces to combat human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery,” Vance said. “It preys on the world’s most vulnerable people ? abandoned children, runaways, illegal immigrants afraid to speak out ? forcing them into prostitution or physical labor. Mr. Carter will lead our task force as it continues to coordinate with federal and state law enforcement to raise awareness of the problem and focus resources on investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes.”

One of the local task forces that the U.S. Attorney’s Office task force works closely with is Cullman County’s. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a leading federal agency in the fight against human trafficking, recently announced a partnership with Cullman County in the department’s Blue Campaign, which DHS conducts to raise awareness of human trafficking. Cullman County is only the second county in the state of Alabama to partner with DHS. Jefferson County is also a partner.

Through the partnership, Blue Campaign materials, co-branded for the county and DHS, will be posted throughout the county as part of a public awareness campaign to educate local residents on how to recognize and report potential instances of human trafficking.

“We cannot combat human trafficking alone,” said Blue Campaign Chairwoman Maria Odom, who signed the memorandum of understanding on behalf of DHS with Cullman County Chairman Kenneth Walker. “The Blue Campaign works closely with our partners across the nation to help ensure that our communities know how to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking. We are honored to be working with Cullman County to bring an end to this heinous crime.”

Cullman County Presiding District Court Judge Kim Chaney said he is “extremely pleased and proud that, through the efforts of the Cullman Human Trafficking Task Force, Cullman County has been chosen to partner with the United States Department of Homeland Security, through the Blue Campaign, to bring awareness and education about human trafficking to our county and state.”

“This partnership will allow the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force to access world-class resources to inform and educate area law enforcement, medical providers, attorneys, educators, business leaders and the community about human exploitation for profit,” Chaney said.

Earlier this year, the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force held a free public training with the DHS Blue Campaign and partnered with the Human Trafficking Task Force for the Northern District of Alabama to provide free internet safety training. This latest partnership will build on previous training in the county by spreading public awareness materials to members of the Cullman County community, to include more targeted materials to attorneys, juveniles, and members of the trucking industry in the county.

The Blue Campaign works in partnership with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

For more information, visit https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign, or contact Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier Carter at (205) 244-2001.

Updated November 17, 2016