Edited from a Press Release
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced a collaboration with the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources as part of his continued effort to help the state target and reduce human trafficking.

The certified training will be offered to DHHR officials Monday in Cabell County. The training is free of charge and provides participants with valuable information. It follows recent sessions in Fayette, Kanawha and Marion counties.

“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We must tackle this horrific and heartbreaking situation head on.”

Recent changes in West Virginia law inspired the Attorney General to take the lead in combating this emerging crime.

His office drafted best practices aimed at raising awareness about human trafficking within law enforcement communities around the state. 

The first-of-its-kind initiative in West Virginia has garnered broad support from law enforcement agencies across the state including the Ceredo Police Department, Charleston Police Department, Kenova Police Department, White Hall Police Department, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office and Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney Sean “Corky” Hammers among others. 

Monday’s training sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Cabell County DHHR Office. 

Human trafficking is defined as commercial sex or labor that is induced by force, fraud or coercion. It is considered the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world today, second only to drug trafficking according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

West Virginia’s increased rate of drug addiction, poverty and its large number of children in foster care make the state especially susceptible to human trafficking – a criminal enterprise recognized as the second largest in the world.

The Attorney General believes the full day of training offered by his office will provide public service workers with the necessary resources to better identify suspicious activity and tackle this growing criminal industry.