NEWS RELEASE Contact: Chief Cynthia McAlister
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE email@example.com
PURCELLVILLE POLICE HOST HUMAN TRAFFICKING CRIME PREVENTION SEMINAR
PURCELLVILLE, Va., October 27, 2021 —Across the United States, children from all communities are being exploited before, during, and after school, regardless of socio-economic class, race, gender, and religion. The average age of these victims is only 12–15 years old. To help reduce the threat in the Purcellville area, the Purcellville Police Department will host a Community Conversation, Crime Prevention Seminar on Wednesday, November 3 from 7:00–8:30 PM in partnership with Anti-Trafficking International (ATI).
How You Can Stop Human Trafficking Before It Starts will be free and open to the public at Purcellville’s Town Hall in the Council Chambers and via livestream using the link listed below. Bill Woolf and Priscilla Hatfield will address the common methods human traffickers use to groom and trick their victims, how to identify the warning signs of a person being targeted or exploited, and what community members can do to help stop this crisis. A Q&A session will follow. Mr. Woolf is the founder and current Chief Operations Officer of ATI, and Ms. Hatfield is a member of the Student Advisory Council, an ATI program committed to strengthening the voices of youth and to enhancing awareness of teen sex trafficking by empowering teen leaders and promoting youth projects.
“While this topic is something no parent wants to think about, human trafficking still occurs, and we need to be aware of how to prevent it and recognize the signs if it does happen. Ignoring the issue does not make it go away, so we want to provide information so everyone can educate themselves and help us eradicate this unthinkable crime,” said Purcellville Police Chief Cynthia McAlister.
“The community needs to be aware of what is happening right in their own backyards. We need good people who are willing to step up and help raise awareness about the realities of human trafficking here in northern Virginia…So many young people fall prey to traffickers’ lies because they just don’t know the threat even exists. And once they realize the trafficker’s malicious intent, they don’t know what to do or who to turn to about it.” – Hannah Chenault, ATI Community Ambassador Program Manager.
This seminar will be the third Crime Prevention Seminar this year hosted by the Purcellville Police Department. We hope our residents are able to attend, either in person or online, and learn about ways to prevent human trafficking.
ATI aims to leverage the resources of community leaders, teachers, parents, local businesses, health care workers, and law enforcement officials to stop human trafficking before it starts. To date, ATI has reached over 250,000 students annually with prevention programming, educated over 25,000 frontline professionals such as hotel and airline workers, and provided advanced training to more than 5,000 law enforcement officers to recognize the signs of human trafficking. ATI recently launched the National Human Trafficking Intelligence Center (NHTIC) with technology partner ShotSpotter to help law enforcement recover trafficking victims and bring their traffickers to justice expediently.
Citizens wishing to join virtually can use the following information for the GoToMeeting:
Crime Prevention Seminar-Human Trafficking Online
Wed, Nov 3, 2021 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (EDT)
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The Town of Purcellville, Virginia
“Purcellville-your small Town, where history and progress intersect and people prosper,” is an award-winning town of over 10,000 residents located in Loudoun County, approximately 50 miles west of Washington, DC. Having received the prestigious Siemens Sustainability Award for Small Communities, Purcellville continues to be honored for its green initiatives with most recently being the Tree City USA recipient for the 12th year. The Town was reaffirmed as a AAA rated community by S&P Global Ratings, the highest credit rating possible, and is recognized as one of the safest towns in Virginia. Once a stop along the W&OD rail line, which has been converted to a multi-use trail from Alexandria, VA to Purcellville, the Town has maintained its historic old-town feel through the restoration and maintenance of its many downtown structures, reflecting the Victorian architecture popular during the early 1900s. Today, Purcellville is the economic hub of western Loudoun County and a popular weekend destination for antiquing, equestrian activities, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. More info at www.purcellvilleva.gov.