Hogan in Rockville to Unveil Efforts to Fight Human Trafficking

Gov. Larry Hogan said he was creating an anti-human trafficking director position to coordinate services for victims across Maryland government departments.

“The chilling reality is that Maryland’s central location and access to major highways and airports like I-95 and BWI make our state a hotbed for human trafficking,” Hogan said.

He spoke before a large group that including Montgomery and Howard county officials, law enforcement and media at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services offices in Rockville.

The governor also announced the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention would spend $5 million to victims of human trafficking with housing assistance, job training, education and vocational training and other services.

His address included other state efforts to combat human trafficking including legislation that he would introduce for the 2019 General Assembly, if he’s re-elected in November.

The violent crime designation would mean offenders would face longer prison sentences and serve more of their sentences before they could be eligible for release.

“We must provide a comprehensive, coordinated response to human trafficking so that no matter where in the system a victim is encountered, we provide them with supportive services and treatment they need,” he said.

“Human trafficking is form of modern-day slavery,” County Executive Ike Leggett said at the event.

Hogan said Maryland ranks among the top states in calls to the national human trafficking hotline for victims and survivors.

The governor also said the University of Maryland College Park would receive $500,000 to create a Crime Research and Innovation Center inside the university’s School of Public Policy.

The center will develop law enforcement solutions, victim services and prevention efforts, he said. It will be dedicated to addressing all violent crime, but it will have a focus on human trafficking, firearm trafficking, drug trafficking and gangs, Hogan said.

The state also will distribute more than $4 million in new grants to 13 jurisdiction to target gangs and violent criminal networks including $260,000 for Montgomery County.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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