Combatting Human Trafficking: Blount County Sheriff's Initiative

It is known as the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team, or G.H.O.S.T. in Michigan. Mark Moon, the sheriff of Blount County, introduced the task force to Alabama after learning about it.

“This gives our department that opportunity to be proactive, to go out and make a major difference and a major impact,” Moon stated.

Moon’s description of a task group that Genesee County (Michigan) Sheriff Christopher Swanson established in 2019 has a significant influence. The goal of the initiative is to end human trafficking.

Swanson claimed that after conducting sting operations abroad, he established his G.H.O.S.T task force.

“We learned a playbook, and we learned how to build it out,” Swanson stated. “We partnered with sheriffs in Michigan. I created a digital playbook for all the sheriffs and all the law enforcement, that’s only law enforcement, 12 modules on how to do it. And I said once you complete, I will come there with my team and do it with you.”

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In two sting operations, Swanson assisted the Blount County Sheriff’s Office in making seven arrests, according to Moon.

“It helped us to let the people of Blount County know that this is not something that’s happening in foreign cities across our country,” Moon stated. “This is happening right here, and we need to be proactive against this crime.”

Moon revealed that hundreds of people, some of whom were from nearby counties, had interacted with his decoys online. He asserted that parents must actively monitor their children’s online activity.

“That lets them understand and lets them know that mom and dad are watching, and I don’t need to be stepping outside of the lines of the things they have set for me,” Moon stated.

Moon stated that another sting operation is being planned by the Blount County task team and will take place shortly. He said he sent an invitation to the attorney general and the state to participate in the activities.

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