The Portland Police Bureau and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office completed a fourth human trafficking mission in East Multnomah County on September 19, 2023. These last four missions have been all Police Bureau personnel to include Human Trafficking Unit (HTU) Detectives and Officers, East, North, and Central precincts personnel, Traffic Division, Multnomah Co Probation and Parole, PPB victim advocates, FBI and HSI task force officers and Multnomah Co District Attorney’s Office.
The following were arrested or cited for Commercial Sexual Solicitation (CSS), or Attempted CSS, and taken to jail:
To date, officers and detectives have contacted 76 people. 22 of them were women and they were offered services and advocacy. Seven of those women chose to speak to advocates. Law enforcement also conducted 21 traffic stops and seized two firearms.
In recent months, Portland’s Human Trafficking Unit has received a number of complaints from community members and the business community, and an increase in referrals from officers, regarding this illegal activity across the county. Also present at last Tuesday’s mission were task force officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), as well as members from the MCSO Detectives Unit and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
The Portland Police Bureau Human Trafficking Unit, which is part of PPB’s Detective Division, investigates crimes involving sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The Unit simultaneously conducts rescue missions for victims of trafficking and disrupts the demand side of trafficking by conducting buyer suppression and directed patrol missions. Due to the complexity of these cases, such as repeated trauma exposures, trauma bonds with traffickers, and fear of retaliation, the victims in these cases are often reluctant to come forward, make a report and/or continue through the criminal justice process. HTU continues to offer trauma-informed, victim-centered services.
HTU also has a strong emphasis on community education. It continuously works with community partners to educate the community on how to recognize the warning signs of human trafficking and the best ways to report it.
To that end, today the Portland Police Bureau is debuting a video highlighting the important work of HTU: