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Seattle Police awarded federal grant to continue regional collaboration to rescue, investigate, and prosecute human traffickers


SEATTLE – The Bureau of Justice Assistance announced today that it will fund Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) joint proposal in response to human trafficking victims under the federal competitive grant solicitation – Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking. 

Yesterday, the Mayor’s Office announced an additional Seattle Police Department’s grant from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, titled Operational Strategies to Protect and Rescue Exploited Children (OSPREY). OSPREY is a $292,000 grant to fund one full time civilian position over a 24 month period and costs associated with training, overtime and equipment.

 “This grant will support our department’s efforts to fight human trafficking in Seattle,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I commend our force for their work and thank the Bureau of Justice Assistance for their support.”

 Since 2005, the Seattle Police Department and International Rescue Committee Seattle, along with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington and other key partners have led the fight against human trafficking in Washington State through a collaborative victim-centered task force, the Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking (WashACT).  This award will continue and expand the capacity to investigate and prosecute all forms of human trafficking and serve victims of all forms of human trafficking in Western Washington.

With this grant, the department seeks to accomplish these four goals: 

  • Conduct proactive investigations of all forms of human trafficking in collaboration with WashACT partners from federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies as well as with newer investigative partners from additional agencies.
  • Identify victims of all forms of trafficking and provide comprehensive, individualized restorative services to victims of human trafficking through a coordinated network of service providers with expertise in serving victims from various populations.
  • Support prosecution of all forms of human trafficking at the local and federal level through collaboration with the USAO, state and local prosecutors.
  • Increase community capacity to identify and report all forms of human trafficking through coordinated training, public awareness presentations and outreach efforts. 

The Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking $500,000 award will continue funding one dedicated full-time detective and add one new full-time civilian position to the High Risk Victims Unit for 24 months.