Posted on February 7, 2021
| 9:00 a.m.
The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force recently participated in the 7th Annual Operation Reclaim and Rebuild, along with over 90 agencies statewide. The operation focuses on rescuing victims of human trafficking, identifying and arresting their traffickers, disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims, and connecting victims of human trafficking with victim resources.
The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office; Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Lompoc police departments; and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
The local agencies came together as part of the statewide operation that coincides with January’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
The Santa Barbara County sting operations took place Jan. 26-28, 2020, and resulted in the arrest of 12 sex buyers and one human trafficker. Five potential victims of human trafficking were identified and connected with local resources by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Victim-Witness Program.
Statewide totals for Operation Reclaim Rebuild were announced at a Friday press conference hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department hosted. This years’ statewide coordinated effort resulted in the rescue of 87 juvenile and adult victims, and the arrest of 518 individuals for crimes associated with human trafficking.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking division was established in 2016 through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant was renewed in 2020 with $1.2 million in funding for three years.
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, call the Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line, 805-681-4171 or provide an anonymous tip online at https://www.sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip/.