Public Notices and Press Releases

New Jersey's Fight Against Human Trafficking: AG Platkin's New Awareness Campaign

S.T.A.L.L.S. Initiative Seeks to Uproot Forced Labor and Sexual Exploitation Crimes

NEW JERSEY – In a significant move to combat human trafficking, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin has unveiled the S.T.A.L.L.S. campaign, short for Sanctuary from Trafficking: Awareness & Linkage to Law Enforcement & Services. The announcement, made at the Trenton War Memorial during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, aims to enhance public vigilance and aid victims.

The campaign's launch coincides with the first anniversary of the Division of Criminal Justice's (DCJ) specialized unit focused on human trafficking. This 14th annual event, themed “Truths about Human Trafficking,” highlights the state's commitment to addressing these crimes. Attorney General Platkin emphasized the importance of public participation in identifying and supporting victims, asserting the office's dual focus on prosecuting traffickers and aiding survivors.

The S.T.A.L.L.S. initiative will see posters in English and Spanish displayed in strategic locations like bathroom stalls in transportation hubs and public areas. These posters, equipped with QR codes, are designed to provide victims with discreet access to help while ensuring their temporary safety.

J. Stephen Ferketic, Director of NJ's Division of Criminal Justice, stressed that human trafficking is a pervasive issue, both in New Jersey and nationwide. The state is tackling this through collaboration with various agencies and community education. The DCJ's Human Trafficking Unit, led by Deputy Director Theresa Hilton, has been pivotal in connecting victims with services, investigating trafficking cases, and securing convictions.

Deputy Director Hilton provided an update on the unit's significant work in 2023. Highlights include aiding suspected victims, collaborating with law enforcement across New Jersey, actively prosecuting multiple cases, and securing sentences for traffickers.

The New Jersey Human Trafficking Hotline, a crucial component in this fight, received numerous calls last year, leading to vital tips and collaborations between DCJ and local law enforcement.

Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, expressed the severity of human trafficking and the commitment to ending such exploitation. The Sergeant Noelle Holl Recognition Award was presented to Detective Joshua Treusch for his exceptional work in investigating human trafficking and supporting survivors, continuing the legacy of Sergeant Holl's dedication to this cause.

This campaign marks a pivotal step in New Jersey's ongoing battle against human trafficking. It underscores the critical role of public awareness and law enforcement collaboration in uprooting these hidden crimes and supporting victims toward recovery and justice.

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