December 21, 2017 08:19 PM
Law and order organizations in central Minnesota have been awarded a more than $300,000 grant to establish a task force to investigate sex trafficking.
The Stearns County Attorney's Office announced the award Thursday.
It says the $313,000 grant, from the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs, goes to the county attorney's office, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, the St. Cloud Police Department, the Waite Park Police Department and the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center.
The attorney's office said in a press release the task force will work with state and federal agencies to investigate and prosecute sex traffickers, and to provide services and support for victims in Stearns County and across central Minnesota.
Authorities noted St. Cloud's position at the confluence of Interstate 94 and Highway 23 is a "natural crossroads for both sex traffickers and sex buyers," and creates the most industry demand behind the Twin Cities.
The creation of the task force will allow the multiple agencies to coordinate and streamline their current and future investigations. The new entity will allow two full-time police investigators and a county detective to work exclusively on reducing supply and demand for purchased sex, the release says.
Updated: December 21, 2017 08:19 PM
Created: December 21, 2017 03:43 PM
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