Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation Commits to Ending Human Trafficking
The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking trains over 200 Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation direct care staff on ways to detect trafficking scenarios

TAMPA, Fla., June 13, 2019 — Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation commits to ending human trafficking through receiving training from the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT). Over 200 employees have received training on how to identify cases of human trafficking and how to respond to such cases.

Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation operates numerous parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, and recreation centers in Hillsborough County. The department also provides programs, events, and activities to Hillsborough County residents year-round.

“Human trafficking can take place in any place, and at any time. To have the Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation direct care staff trained and equipped to spot trafficking is a huge asset to the fight to end this injustice,” said Geoff Rogers, co-founder and CEO of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. “The anti-trafficking training only strengthens Hillsborough County’s commitment to keeping the community safe. We’re honored to work with their team to keep Florida safer.”

The Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation staff received training on local and national statistics, what their responsibilities are as childcare providers at reporting suspected abuse, signs a person may be a victim, and how to report abuse of children and adults.

“We are thrilled to have our direct care staff educated, equipped and ready to help keep Hillsborough County safe from human trafficking scenarios,” said Kimberly Overman, commissioner of Hillsborough County. “We appreciate the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking team for linking arms with us to protect our community.”

Florida consistently ranks third in the nation for the number of calls made to the National Human
Trafficking Hotline.

“We believe that ending sex trafficking begins with getting every sector of society involved,” said Micah Washinski, TraffickingFree Zone Florida regional manager at the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.  “The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking considers it an honor to help train the staff at Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation and will continue to support them as we work to stop trafficking in our community.”

To learn more about USIAHT and its work to end sex trafficking in the United States, visit https://usiaht.org. To learn more about the TraffickingFree Zone program and how you can bring it to your community, visit https://traffickingfreezone.com.

The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) is a faith-based, non-profit organization fighting human trafficking in America. We work to prevent trafficking by combating demand in new and innovative ways, raising awareness, influencing policy, educating our youth and disrupting trafficking activities. We seek to rescue and rehabilitate victims by collaborating with organizations that are expert at rescuing abducted youth currently engaged in the sex trade. We also collaborate with federal, state and local government officials. With offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Tampa, Las Vegas, and Austin, we are addressing the national problem and also providing on-the-ground services. To learn more, go to https://usiaht.org.