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March 3
1882 - George Campton's Newhall general store explodes [story]
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Operation Reclaim and RebuildIn conjunction with Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced details and results from the fourth annual ‘Operation Reclaim and Rebuild’ enforcement operation, conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and more than 80 participating federal state and local law enforcement agencies, and task forces from across California.

The three-day, statewide effort aimed at combatting human trafficking took place between Thursday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 27, and was conducted in various mediums and met with positive results.

The press conference was held Tuesday at the iconic Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. Sheriff McDonnell was joined by District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office; Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala, Los Angeles Police Department; CEO Kay Buck, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking; and representatives from several participating federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and public and private service providers.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild focused on rescuing victims of sexual slavery and human trafficking, providing victims with much-needed services, identifying and arresting their captors, seeking successful prosecutions, and disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims by targeting their customers. Police agencies and other trafficking task forces throughout our state joined in the enforcement operation to send the clear message that California law enforcement shares a unified mandate: Human trafficking must not be tolerated in our state.

In preparation for the event, an operational planning meeting took place in Los Angeles, with over 120 federal, state and municipal law enforcement detectives from all over California in attendance. Investigators focused enforcement operations wherever the trafficking of human beings took place, from confronting the reality of sidewalk prostitution by conducting demand operations, to challenging the virtual reality of the cyber world where traffickers believe they can operate anonymously using the internet. The internet has furnished a vast variety of opportunities for traffickers, but with the experience of specially-trained cyber detectives who posed as vulnerable teenagers and interacted with suspects on social media, traffickers and customers who were anxious to exploit found their plans foiled.

Minors encountered during enforcement efforts were cared for by personnel from various Department of Children and Family Services Agencies in each county. In Los Angeles County, the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST) and Saving Innocence (SI) coordinated the emergency services response for victim care and collaborated with similar, non-governmental victim service organizations throughout the state.

Operation Reclaim and Rebuild was widely successful in its endeavor with 56 adult and minor victims being recovered; 178 males arrested for the charge of Solicitation; and 30 males arrested for pimping. In total, 510 arrests were made.

As Sheriff McDonnell relayed the mission, efforts and results of Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, he pointedly addressed the traffickers and johns who conduct their illegal business in Los Angeles County and the state of California with a clear message. He reminded them of the gravity of their crimes and the prosecution to accompany their actions when discovered.

Next, the Sheriff directly addressed the victims. “We will work tirelessly with our partners such as the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking and Saving Innocence to meet your needs, and help you reclaim and rebuild your lives,” he said.

“We, as prosecutors, must do everything in our power to protect young people from falling prey to sex traffickers,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “Working together with law enforcement, we are removing these violent predators from our community, protecting our children and making our streets safer for all of us.”

“Our taskforce is, above all else, about partnership and developing survivor-centered solutions together,” said Kay Buck, CEO of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, known as CAST. “CAST relies on our criminal justice partners to hold traffickers accountable; this gives us the space to start creating safety and trust with survivors -a critical part of healing from trauma. As a taskforce, we are investing in survivors.”

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SCV NewsBreak
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