Often characterized as modern day slavery, human trafficking is a scourge to our region and an issue that the Board of Supervisors should be confronting much more proactively. Although tracking statistics on this heinous crime is difficult, the numbers paint a grim picture. In a 12-month period, more than 100 victims were recovered and another 267 have been identified in Fairfax County. The creation of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force has led to an increase in awareness and collaboration across local governments in the region. Fairfax County is playing a role in combatting this crime, but we can do more.
As Supervisor, I will support doubling the number of personnel in the Police Department who are dedicated to investigating human trafficking and will fight to create the first shelter for its victims in Fairfax County. Today, the nearest shelter for victims is in West Virginia. Fairfax County is the center of human trafficking crimes in Northern Virginia, and the County should step up its efforts to significantly increase the fight against it. I will champion this effort.