On a 4-0 vote — with Supervisor John Tavaglione absent — the Board of Supervisors approved Sheriff Stan Sniff’s applications for a U.S. Justice Department “Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program” grant and an “Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking Program” grant.
The $622,000 anti-domestic violence grant would be shared between the sheriff’s department, several other county agencies and nonprofit organizations.
The grant application states that Sheriff Stanley Sniff “will ensure that … domestic violence victims are protected in their homes, interviewed to support prosecution and provided the opportunity to access services at a Family Justice Center.”
“The sheriff is committed to increasing training for all line personnel in order to ensure the safety of the victims and the responding officers, and to educate (the latter) in … dealing with domestic violence,” the application says.
The $500,000 human trafficking prevention grant would fund an “enhanced anti-human trafficking law enforcement task force and victim service
(program) designed to identify, rescue and assist foreign and domestic, adult and minor, victims of human trafficking,” according to a sheriff’s document.
The agency’s task force has been in operation for several years, according to Chief Deputy Boris Robinson.
The Riverside County Commission for Women held a conference in January on trafficking and the crimes associated with it in the United States and abroad.
According to the U.S. State Department, as many as 600,000 to 800,000 people are victims of trafficking every year. Most of them are women and children, who are transported across international borders for the purpose of commercial sex, pornography and other forms of exploitation.
However, some men are also trafficked, forced into debt bondage or servitude after obtaining assistance from smugglers to gain illegal entry to the United States and other western countries, according to federal officials.
More information is available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/trafficking/.