Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

Meet DA Nancy E. O'Malley

Alameda County DA's Office Selected as Grant Recipient to Fight Human Trafficking of Minors

Aug. 10, 2010. District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has been selected as one of only four recipients of a U.S. Department of Justice grant to combat Human Trafficking of Minors.

The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Grant was awarded after a nationwide submission process. The Grant award is $300,000 over a two-year period. Other grant recipients include the State of Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the City of Boston, Massachusetts; and the Cook County State’s Attorney, Chicago, Illinois.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office created the H.E.A.T. (Human Exploitation and Trafficking) Unit in 2005, one year before California passed its human trafficking laws. In 2010, the District Attorney in collaboration with several community providers and partners, introduced H.E.A.T. Watch, a nationally recognized and innovative solution to combating H.E.A.T. based on a multi-system, multi-jurisdictional collaborative approach.

Ms. O’Malley states, “This grant will fund the coordination and training efforts of H.E.A.T. Watch Partners. As a result, victim advocates will increase their capacity to identify children at risk or those involved in commercial sexual exploitation and to link those children to essential services throughout the Bay Area, enhancing safety and stability. Law enforcement will increase identification and investigations of cases and the District Attorney will continue to aggressively prosecute traffickers. H.E.A.T. Watch was developed to be a replicable best practice model for regional and national law enforcement response for the commercial sexual exploitation of children and we are very proud of the comprehensive approach to combat human trafficking of children in Alameda County.”

Multi-agency victim service advocates and providers throughout the Bay Area, and all 24-law enforcement agencies in Alameda County as well as the San Francisco Police Department, the Richmond Police Department, and Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, are partners in H.E.A.T. Watch.

Deputy District Attorney Sharmin Bock, head of the H.E.A.T. Unit, is a nationally recognized expert in combating the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Ms Bock states, “This collaborative effort of victim advocates, law enforcement, social services, health care, as well as those from the community and local business is historic. It takes a village to rescue and recover a child from commercial sexual exploitation. The U.S. State Department has stated that the sale and purchase of children for sex is the 2nd largest industry in our country and has become a multi-billion dollar industry. This grant to the District Attorneys’ Office will greatly assist in our fight to combat the trafficking of children.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2010