Attorney General Herring on human trafficking in Virginia: ‘We will be relentless’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Attorney General Mark Herring continued this efforts to fight human trafficking Tuesday by collaborating with the Richmond Regional Human Trafficking Collaborative.

On Tuesday, the pair new initiatives that will improve the way the Richmond region responds to human trafficking.

Specifically, Herring and several law enforcement agencies discussed how a new case manager could help in their fight against human trafficking in Virginia.

Between 2017 and 2018, a total of 22 juveniles were identified as trafficking victims, Herring said during the meeting. Those victims were found in five jurisdictions, Richmond, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, and Henrico.

The Richmond Regional Human Trafficking Collaborative granted $350,000 to aid in new initiatives, that will help focus more on minor victims with the services they may need, like housing and safe places to stay, medical care, counseling as well as stakeholder training.

Something several state, local and federal law enforcement groups say they take seriously.

"We are constantly evaluating any tools that we might have to address human trafficking. We will be relentless and we will not let up," said Herring. "I want to make sure all Virginians know that we will not let up when it comes to protecting victims and helping them as well as bring perpetrators to justice."

Herring has made combating human trafficking a priority since he took office in 2014.

He created a statewide human trafficking awareness campaign as well as getting human trafficking seen as a crime not up for bail, signed into law by Governor Ralph Northam.

Herring tells CBS 6 the case manager position has not yet been filled but they are hoping to get it done soon with the right person.

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