Arizona’s Super Bowl may be three weeks away, but Phoenix City Hall officials report making a dent in human sex trafficking arrests. Vice Mayor Jim Waring, who heads the Phoenix Human Trafficking Task Force says, in the past six months,

53 pimps have been arrested along with 311 johns. 11 juveniles were also rescued and 137 trafficked adults have received services.

Waring points out human trafficking gets worse during the Super Bowl period, but it’s a problem that exists every day no matter where you live. A new billboard campaign and public service announcements are trying to heighten public awareness. Waring is also featured in a city-produced training video now airing on the city’s channel, PHX TV.

Cindy Mc Cain, co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, was instrumental in a bill getting passed which increased penalties for trafficking minors as sex slaves.The bill also made, for the first time in Arizona, johns as accountable as pimps in the exploitation of minor.  But Mc Cain says  it’s up to citizens to become a force to make the offenders pay for what they’re doing.
 
The City touts the Police Department’s Vice Enforcement Unit as the only one of its kind in the state which is organized to improve the speed of responding to human trafficking activity in the state. 

–Barbara Villa

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