Nonprofit trains FPD officers on how to crack down on sex trafficking

By Tony Dodero

Crittenton Services for Children and Families, an Orange County-based nonprofit, recently collaborated with the Fullerton Police Department to train 75 officers on the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking.

While many think that sex trafficking is largely an issue with foreign countries, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force identified 64 minor victims in 2013, and Crittenton’s program has served at least 200 victims hailing from all over Southern California.

Earlier this year, the Fullerton Police Department connected with Crittenton staff to discuss how their resources could best be used to deter trafficking and to help victims within the city.

“The Fullerton Police Department has been very proactive in working with us to make sure we are doing everything we can for the young victims we serve locally,” said Joyce Capelle, CEO of Crittenton Services. “This training is yet another opportunity for community collaboration that can result in more kids being rescued and more awareness being spread.”

The officers attended six briefings in two days that focused on the warning signs of child sex trafficking; who are the vulnerable populations in Southern California; the use of language and the effects of trauma.

As part of the training, young victims of sex trafficking provided suggestions to the officers on on how to interact with at-risk youth or those young victims currently in “the life.”

The Fullerton Police Department plans on collaborating with Crittenton on similar educational efforts as an on-going process to further train its officers on anti-human trafficking initiatives within Orange County.

“We are proud to partner with Crittenton Services in order to serve those most vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking,” said Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes. “The department, in partnership with Crittenton, is committed to stopping domestic minor sex trafficking.”