FBI Honors Yellowstone County Area Human Trafficking Task Force with Director’s Community Leadership Award
Special Agent in Charge Dennis Rice is pleased to announce the Yellowstone County Area Human Trafficking Task Force as the recipient of the 2021 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for the Salt Lake City Division. Each year, FBI field offices nominate individuals or organizations that have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their communities through service.
SAC Rice recognized the Task Force with this honor during an awards presentation on September 16, in Billings, Montana.
The YCAHTTF is a non-profit organization that helps coordinate efforts of law enforcement, service providers, and volunteers in Yellowstone County, Montana, and the surrounding areas, in their work to investigate and prosecute human traffickers, assist victims of human trafficking, increase community awareness, and prevent future trafficking.
The Task Force’s work has led to an increased reporting of possible human trafficking cases in Billings through efforts that include community outreach and law enforcement training. Members are working with the FBI in Billings to help create medical protocols associated with victims of human trafficking for the hospital systems in the region.
The YCAHTTF routinely collaborates with the FBI to counter the problem and support victims in a variety of ways. For example, the YCAHTTF assisted in the creation of Freedom Kits—backpacks filled with clothing, hygiene products, and gift cards—which the FBI provided to victims. The Task Force also helped provide lodging for one victim and scholarship funds so she could enroll in college classes. Another victim received assistance enrolling in an addiction treatment program and upon successful completion, received help getting placed into an independent living situation.
“Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery,” said SAC Rice. “The FBI takes a victim-centered approach, ensuring victims have access to resources while also building a case against traffickers. The FBI can’t do our job combating this issue without partners like this Task Force.”
The YCAHTTF makes a positive impact in our communities and the FBI is proud to honor their service with the designation as the Salt Lake City Division 2021 DCLA recipient.