Agencies to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking


The escalating problem of human trafficking in Orange County will be discussed at a news conference Wednesday in Orange, with top brass from several law enforcement and other agencies scheduled to address ways to combat the problem.

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada will be among law enforcement officials scheduled to speak at the 10 a.m. news conference at Orange County Transportation Authority headquarters.

They will be joined by OCTA officials and other members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, which will release its 2014 report on victims – half of whom are minors.

The report found that the number of perpetrators of human trafficking victims in O.C. doubled between 2011 and 2013, and that each month in the county, an average of eight new victims of human trafficking are identified.

Third District Supervisor and OCTA Director Todd Spitzer also is scheduled to attend the news conference, along with OCTA Chief Executive Darrell Johnson, Community Service Programs Director of Victim Assistance Programs Ronnetta Johnson, and CSP Director of Victim Assistance Programs Lita Mercado.

OCTA officials will discuss the launch of the agency’s “Be the One” public awareness campaign and training of its coach operators – a strategy to provide assistance to  victims and those who spot crimes.

Check Wednesday for detailed coverage of the news conference.