Chandler gets $500K grant to fight human trafficking

Jun 24, 2023, 5:45 AM

Fight against Chandler human trafficking ramps up...

File photo of a Chandler police car parked in front of public safety training center. (City of Chandler photo)

(City of Chandler photo)

PHOENIX – Chandler’s police department is getting a hefty monetary boost in its fight against human traffickers.

The Chandler City Council approved a $499,480 grant to help the force fight sexual exploitation during its June 15 meeting.

Since its founding in 2015, the Human Trafficking Unit (HTU) has investigated human trafficking activity in Chandler.

In 2022, it took part in 48 arrests, led eight community training sessions and investigated three health and safety violations, according to the City of Chandler.

Last month, the Chandler Police Department teamed up with multiple agencies for a two-day sting operation against 13 adults charged with trying to sexually engage with children in Chandler and adjoining cities. Authorities arrested the alleged predators on 30 sexual felony crimes.

Grant can help prevent Chandler human trafficking

The money comes from the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs. The Chandler PD will use it to buy new technology and fund overtime and benefits it needs to support the Human Trafficking Unit.

Funds will help the unit conduct complex investigations and operations.

Human trafficking is a global issue, but anti-trafficking efforts in the U.S. are hindered by staffing gaps and “weaknesses in monitoring,” according to the Government Accountability Office.

Authorities hope the grant will help the police find and remove violent sex trafficking offenders from the community.

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Chandler gets $500K grant to fight human trafficking