If you think human trafficking is just a big city problem, think again. Today's version of slavery has infiltrated small towns across the country, even those in the Twin Lakes Area.
To prepare law enforcement and service providers in the fight against this modern day slavery, a day-long continuing education and training opportunity is being held Tuesday. The event is being presented by the 14th Judicial District Prosecutor's Office and the Into the Light advocacy organization. It will be held in The Sheid on the campus of Arkansas State University-Mountain Home.
Prosecutor David Ethredge says the training is being held to address what is a very real problem in this area.
Ethredge says his office and law enforcement began hearing rumblings about possible human trafficking in the area some time back.
The prosecutor says the sex trafficking problem is tied to the illegal drug activity.
Ethredge says the outstanding law enforcement in this area want to stay ahead of the curve to address developing issues.
Tuesday's event is designed to provide the training they are seeking.
Information will be provided by international trainer, survivor and advocate Kathy Bryan and retired Police Sergeant Chris Bray. Bray spent 18 years of his 33-year career leading sex trafficking and related investigations for the Phoenix Police Department.
The training will be open to the public from 9:00 until 10:30 Tuesday morning. It continues until 4:30 for law enforcement and service providers.
Pre-registration is recommended, as seating is limited. To pre-register, contact Michele Watson at Into the Light, 870-470-9001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsors of the event are the Mountain Home and Bull Shoals-Lakeview Rotary Clubs and ASU-Mountain Home's criminal justice department.
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