virtual human trafficking training will be held next week

U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center, and Monongalia County QRT offer training

MORGANTOWN, W.V (STL.News) A virtual human trafficking training will be held next week as a part of National Human Trafficking and Slavery Prevention Month, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center and the Monongalia County Quick Response Team to offer “Human Trafficking 101: Identifying and Helping Victims.” The goal of the training is to convey the reality and seriousness of human trafficking crimes and allow for those responding to overdoses in our communities to recognize the signs of human trafficking and report it.

The training will provide practical guidance to distinguish trafficking from other crimes and offer a comprehensive overview of the state and federal anti-trafficking laws.  It will also provide information on the identifying and triage of trafficking victims, and more on initiating trafficking investigations.

The two-hour virtual training hosted by the Monongalia County QRT will include presentations from Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Cogar of the Northern District of West Virginia and Katie Spriggs, the Executive Director of the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center.  The training will also offer a question and answer discussion.

The event will be held Tuesday, January 26 at 1:00 p.m.  More than 100 attendees are expected, which includes law enforcement, EMS, and service providers.  The event is free for those registered.

In 2019, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received 98 calls regarding human trafficking in West Virginia.  Those calls resulted in the identification of 153 victims, 21 traffickers, and five trafficking businesses.  The majority of those cases were sex trafficking cases.