Eye Heart World was recently asked to be a part of an operation with local, state, and federal authorities, including Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation. We agreed to send members of our outreach team to assist with any women or girls that needed help. We were excited that our law enforcement at the state and federal levels were eager to have us be a part of such an important operation.
The name of the operation was significant to the officers that planned it. They took the time to identify the purpose of the operation and why each person asked to participate was so important. The command of the operation, Special Agent Carl G. Waterstreet made sure to note that the goal was to help children stuck in the nightmare of trafficking and the members of the operation were there to make the nightmare stop and help these kids and young women.
When myself and the other team members, Kim and Lisa arrived, we walked into a room filled with about 45 agents of different law enforcement agencies, at all levels, local, state and federal. All the officers were geared up and ready to begin a long evening. Special Agent Waterstreet came over to the three of us after the briefing and noted to us that we would be seeing every woman or child that was taken into custody, no matter what. The law enforcement agencies wanted us to be the first to talk to them and also noted, they would not be arrested, these woman or children are NOT criminals but are in need of help.
This is a huge shift in how officers think about prostitution, renaming it as trafficking.
We could not be more proud to serve alongside these officers in this manner. It was inspiring to watch these officers work into the early hours of the morning to see if they could help just one more, then wait just one more, and one more. They did not want to quit as they know they make a difference in changing people's lives. We were so blessed to be able to see the hearts of law enforcement as so real and wanting to help make a difference in fighting the crime of human trafficking.
SUBMITTED BY: Dawn, Outreach Team Director