CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Thursday his office will offer law enforcement intense certified training to target and reduce human trafficking in the Mountain State.
The training, certified by the state Law Enforcement Professional Standards Board, will be offered to police departments free of charge and provide officers with valuable information, while satisfying mandatory continued education requirements.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We must tackle this horrific and heartbreaking situation head on.”
West Virginia’s increased rate of drug addiction, poverty and its large number of children in foster care make the state especially susceptible to human trafficking – a criminal enterprise recognized as the second largest in the world.
National statistics indicate only 2 percent of victims are recovered.
The Attorney General believes the full day of training offered by his office will equip law enforcement with the necessary resources to better identify suspicious activity and tackle this emerging crime.
The Attorney General’s cooperation with the state Law Enforcement Professional Standards Board provides added incentive for city, county and state law enforcement to obtain training to better protect West Virginians. It ensures officers who receive this valuable instruction will have it credited to their annual in-service training.
The Attorney General’s Office will contact police departments about this initiative in coming weeks. Any law enforcement officers with questions should call the Attorney General’s Office at 304-558-2021.