Human trafficking awareness group hosts first Hattiesburg “Safety Town” event

It was called “Safety Town” and it brought law enforcement officers and family support organizations together at the Sherrill Community Center.

Human trafficking awareness group hosts first Hattiesburg “Safety Town” event

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -The New Year means a new fight against human trafficking for one organization.

Advocates for Freedom, based on the Gulf Coast, hosted its first-ever human trafficking awareness event Saturday in Hattiesburg.

It was called “Safety Town” and it brought law enforcement officers and family support organizations together at the Sherrill Community Center.

“The reasons for us to be here is to bring awareness, awareness empowers all of us against human trafficking,” said Susie Harvill, executive director and CEO of Advocates for Freedom.

During the event, Hattiesburg mayor Toby Barker issued a proclamation recognizing the month of January as Human Trafficking and Slavery Prevention Month.

Advocates for Freedom is also hosting a crime symposium on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Gulf Coast Events Center in Gulfport.

Meanwhile, there is a new organization in South Mississippi dedicated to fighting human trafficking.

The Pine Belt Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is made up of members from the Hattiesburg Police Department, the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies, including some district attorneys offices.

It’s also associated with the Center for Violence Prevention in Jackson.

New details will be released about the task force on Monday during a special news conference that will be held at the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office.

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