By Michael D. Butler, Sr.
300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk every year for commercial sexual exploitation. –U.S. Department of Justice
Tulsa, OK 12/1/10
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan along with Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department and Stop Child Trafficking Now SCTNow.org gathered at the Tulsa Police Department to announce that Tulsa and Oklahoma will adopt a pre-emptive strategy against human trafficking. Below is a partial transcript of the press conference:
Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said, “We are pleased to announce that the TPD has engaged in a partnership that will benefit our community. Human trafficking is a Tulsa problem. I met the team from Stop Child Trafficking Now. They don’t just address child trafficking they address human trafficking. This is a global problem, it is a state problem, and it is a local Tulsa problem. It is everything from prostitution to immigration issues….Nearly all of our boys and girls who are engaged in prostitution have been trafficked in some form or another and have been exploited. I think it’s an issue that needs to be brought to the forefront. This group has done that and they continue to do that.’
‘This is a web-based database that I will assign personnel from TPD to have access to. It is a fairly new database but it is growing exponentially-day by day and we will be able to use it. Like the Under-Sheriff said: “criminals travel” and people who commit these kinds of crimes tend to be ran out of communities. They try to be elusive and go to bigger cities or they do things that keep us away from where they are. In the past we may not have had enough criminal information on someone who is committing these offences. But with this database there is a much better chance and we are more likely with this technology of finding them and knowing if they are serial offenders. It is good information sharing.”
Mayor Dewey Bartlett, “ In Tulsa county we find this (human trafficking) irreprehensible and that we want to do whatever we can in our ability as the Mayor’s office and as citizens of this state and county to stand behind our enforcement mechanisms to eradicate this problem. We are at a unique position geographically because we have such high trafficking areas with the interstate system that gives direct access not only for human trafficking between major cities but major countries and if we can do anything more know you can know that we simply will not allow it to happen to anyone here-whether they are a citizen of this country or not. My hat is off to all of you for taking such a leadership position in this. For us it’s very important to have this technology and this partnership. I believe that the city of Tulsa is doing very well and that we are seeing this as a problem on our radar screen but that doesn’t mean we can sit back and assume that it’s not there because it is and we are thankful to be working with SCTNow and their people.”
Clark Stuart, President of the Operatives: “ I am thankful to be working with a city as progressive as Tulsa. It’s a changing world we live in. Our world is based on information and living in a time when we are forced to do more with less. Being able to manage the information is the priority. I congratulate you on the leadership and courage to make a difference with human trafficking and embracing the methods that we have proven effective for years. We are optimistic to be working with your local law enforcement and providing them with the valuable information that comes from integrating the software with the officers and “boots on the ground.” It’s an honor to be working with Tulsa and I’m looking forward to developing a relationship with your community.”
“We want to thank you for coming out today. We feel that Tulsa is on the front end of this issue-very proactive. We feel like Tulsa will become the model for the nation on child trafficking ,” said Jason & Kristin Weis, Stop Child Trafficking Now National Walk Directors. Jason went on to say that, “it is an historic day in Tulsa for technology and law enforcement, but ultimately for children.”
SCTNow Tulsa has participated in 2 global works and a golf tournament to raise money and awareness for SCTNow.org based out of New York, NY.
Also present were other member’s from many other organizations who work with victim’s recovery groups and task force members who educate law enforcement and legislators.
Lynette Lewis, Founder & President of SCTNow, former Tulsa resident, now lives in New York City: “What Tulsa has become, through the leadership of Jason & Kristin Weis is a hallmark city for the entire nation. Tulsa is now a forerunner city, where the strategy, the ops team working with local law enforcement, is way down the line compared to other U.S. cities.”
More photos of the event can be found on Facebook in the M3 Photo Album & your invitation to Global Human Trafficking Awareness Day January 11th in Tulsa
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