Kaul: Law enforcement needs more human trafficking training

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MILWAUKEE (WMTV)-- Inconsistent reporting from law enforcement agencies is likely leading to undercounting the number of people who are in the sex trade industry in the state, says Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.

He announced the results of the 2019 Law Enforcement Assessment of Sex Trafficking in Wisconsin on Thursday.

Read the full report here

“As the report shows, there has been an increased recognition of the prevalence of human trafficking,” says Kaul. “We must continue working to raise awareness about this terrible crime and investing in efforts to fight it.”

The assessment includes a DOJ survey of law enforcement agencies to gather information about their perceptions, policies, and data-entering practices related to human trafficking incidents.

It found:


  • Human trafficking data is inconsistent across the state and more incomplete than previously believed.
  • The amount of incidents is a challenge due to differing policies across the state.
  • Law enforcement wants training on how to differentiate between prostitution and sex trafficking.
  • Agencies need more training on child sex trafficking and related statutes.
  • More than 90 percent of police chiefs and sheriffs refer children who are suspected of being sold to local child welfare agencies and adult or juvenile victims are referred for services.

Between 2014 and 2017, 118 incidents of human trafficking were reported. An additional 139 incidents were either prostitution or human trafficking entered by agencies that do not differentiate between the two offenses.
In 2018, there were 66 human trafficking incidents reported with an additional 35 cases that were either human trafficking or prostitution.

A total of 305 law enforcement agencies participated in the first part of the survey, and 203 agencies completed the second part of the survey.