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Montgomery County to Receive $257K to Combat Gangs and Human Trafficking

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday announced a series of initiatives to combat human trafficking in Maryland by providing additional support for trafficking victims and pursuing innovative strategies and harsher punishments for traffickers.

The governor made the announcement at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, where he was joined by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett; founder and director of the University of Maryland “SAFE” (Support, Advocacy, Freedom and Empowerment) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors and Former Deputy U.S. Trade Ambassador Susan Esserman; Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Marcus Jones; Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention Glenn Fueston; Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith; and Secretary Lourdes Padilla of the Maryland Department of Human Services; along with other federal, state, and local officials, as well as stakeholders and advocates committed to fighting human trafficking in Maryland.

“As governor, I am committed to ensuring that not only are the violent perpetrators brought to justice, but that we also provide the resources necessary to help survivors recover and rebuild their lives,” said Governor Hogan. “One of our most important responsibilities is to protect Maryland citizens, and human trafficking strikes at the very fiber of our Maryland communities, our families, and our children.”

The measures announced today include: a new executive order creating an Anti-Human Trafficking Director position; a new crime, research, and innovation center; strengthened data collection; an updated identification protocol; $5 million in funding for anti-human trafficking efforts; and legislation to categorize felony human trafficking as a violent crime. The governor also announced more than $4 million in new grants to target gangs and violent criminal networks as part of the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network (MCIN).

The governor signed Executive Order 01.01.2018.19, which creates an Anti-Human Trafficking Director for the state. This position, housed within GOCCP, will serve as the Hogan administration’s lead on human trafficking and will coordinate supportive services for victims as well as advise on enforcement responses to human trafficking.

Governor Hogan also announced a $500,000 grant being awarded to the University of Maryland to help create a Maryland Crime Research and Innovation Center. The Center, a partnership with the University of Maryland, College Park, will serve as a hub for criminal justice excellence within the School of Public Policy. This center will focus on developing law enforcement solutions, victim services, prevention efforts, and other criminal justice pro