City of Temple Terrace makes a city-wide proclamation that sets a zero-tolerance standard for sex trafficking.
TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla., June 5, 2019 — The city of Temple Terrace, Florida, issued a proclamation signed by Mayor Mel Jurado at last night’s City Council Meeting declaring itself a TraffickingFree Zone™ in collaboration with the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT).
“We are deeply committed to finding a solution to end sex trafficking in Florida and throughout the
United States,” said Geoff Rogers, CEO and co-founder of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. “Our TraffickingFree Zone program is a set of proven practices from across the nation that pulls all sectors of society together to fight demand and combat sex trafficking within a community. We are proud to partner with the city of Temple Terrace, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside them to eradicate sex trafficking in Florida.”
The TraffickingFree Zone program is an integrated, holistic approach to ending sex trafficking in a city or community through multi-sector partnership involving law enforcement, government, businesses, schools and community-based organizations.
As a result of the TraffickingFree Zone declaration, all City of Temple Terrace staff will receive training to detect and report human trafficking cases.
“It is of utmost importance to the City of Temple Terrace that our community be a safe place. We will not condone human trafficking happening in our city. Our declaration as a TraffickingFree Zone means that we have a set a zero-tolerance standard for any type of trafficking in our area,” said Mayor Mel Jurado. “Our City’s commitment extends beyond a proclamation and ‘yaption’ on the subject to include an ‘action’ commitment with extended training with our police officers and engagement training with staff members from across the City. We will continue to fight to end this issue and are hopeful organizations and businesses of all kinds in our community will commit to do the same.”
County-by-county, the TraffickingFree Zone program focuses on arresting and prosecuting sex
buyers instead of those who are being sold, educating community members on sex trafficking
and implementing numerous other demand-reduction techniques.
Florida consistently ranks third in the nation for the number of calls made to the National Human
Trafficking Hotline. TraffickingFree Zones have already been implemented across Florida in Pasco
County, Pinellas County and the Cities of Clearwater, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Dade City.
“We applaud the city of Temple Terrace for declaring their community a TraffickingFree Zone. We hope that cities across America will follow this example to learn the most effective ways to combat sex trafficking in their communities,” said Stephanie Costolo, Florida regional manager of TraffickingFree Zones at the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. “We are grateful for this partnership and look forward to assisting Temple Terrace in ending this appalling crime.”
The Temple Terrace Police Department has already trained all of its officers to combat trafficking
through the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking’s (USIAHT) new Law Enforcement Certification program.
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
Tampa, Washington DC, Los Angeles, 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.