Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and the Office of Human Trafficking Prevention recently held the county’s first conference to highlight efforts to identify, eliminate and prevent sexual and labor trafficking in the region. The more than 140 individuals attending the conference heard from survivors, national experts and law enforcement officers and spent the day strategizing about ways to combat the problem.

Recent Howard County initiatives to combat human trafficking have included hiring a human trafficking prevention coordinator and adding a second full-time police detective to investigate cases; passing legislation allowing police officers to investigate massage parlors suspected as fronts for prostitution and human trafficking; creating a forfeiture fund to provide services for survivors: and establishing the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council. For more information on the Howard County Office of Human Trafficking Prevention, contact Sidney Ford at 410-313-6558 or [email protected].