Flathead County program aims to halt human trafficking

Monday marked World Day Against Trafficking and Flathead County kicked off an initiative in conjunction that aims to ...

Posted: Aug 1, 2018 6:55 AM
Updated: Aug 1, 2018 6:55 AM

Monday marked World Day Against Trafficking and Flathead County kicked off an initiative in conjunction that aims to bring people at risk of exploitation back into the fold.

The special project launched by the county's Human Trafficking Task Force aims to hand out "dignity bags" to people who are identified as at-risk by law enforcement.

"Every year millions of women and children [including] some boys are trafficked across the United States and here with the Human Trafficking Task Force we've recognized that a communication gap sometimes exists with law enforcement and so we want to bridge that gap," said Flathead County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Jeanne Parker who is part of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The Dignity Bag project will equip all law enforcement patrol cars throughout the county with a backpack filled with personal care items, water and non-perishable snack items as well as with information on human trafficking indicators and numbers to call for support.

The bags will be offered to anyone that officers feel could benefit from one. Law enforcement hopes the project will help them reach the hidden and transient populations that are vulnerable to trafficking and bring them back into the fold.

Detective Alan Brooks, who has been working sex trafficking cases in the county for more than a decade, says last year the Montana Internet Crimes against Children identified 12 underage children involved with traffickers and over 50 underage children exploited.

Brooks says victims rarely seek assistance or come forward asking for help due to fear of law enforcement or retaliation from traffickers. He told MTN News that the hope is that the dignity bags will create an ability to build trust and communication with a vulnerable population.

"In the dignity bags they have the opportunity to not only use the resources for themselves but to share them and the information that is passed in those bags -- whether it be hotlines to reach law enforcement, or victim services or just the ability to report information which is often not reported to law enforcement -- because of the distrust those that are involved in it have," Brooks said.

The program will be ongoing and items supplied in the dignity bags will change with seasons. Items have been donated by private parties, non-profits as well as multiple law enforcement agencies across the Flathead Valley.

Anyone who would like to donate to the project can contact the Human Trafficking Task Force coordinator in Kalispell at (406) 751-2175.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180
West Lafayette
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 63°
Kokomo
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 56°
Rensselaer
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 55°
Williamsport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Crawfordsville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 61°
Delphi
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 57°
Clear Skies Continue
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events