We gathered at the intersection of Sepulveda and Valerio in Van Nuys to announce the statistics gathered from the first three years of the LAPD Operations-Valley Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force. I chose this intersection on purpose. Since I was a little girl, I have known that the intersection of Sepulveda and Valerio was where some men went to buy women and girls for sex. I knew then that it was wrong, and have spent much of my time on the Council working to rid our district of this troubling enterprise.
Since I launched the Task Force back in October 2015, we have made 1,717 arrests (most of them johns), impounded 101 vehicles belonging to johns, and arrested over 100 men for human trafficking, pimping, pandering and a host of other offenses. But we have done so much more than just arrest bad actors. By focusing on the johns and pimps, we are attacking both the supply and demand of this toxic industry. For me, there is nothing more important than getting the women and girls held against their will off the streets and into housing. It was this approach that led us to launch a new Human Trafficking Task Force for the LAPD’s South Bureau. I want to thank the Valley Bureau for helping to make this Task Force a reality, Dr. Stephany Powell from Journey Out for providing support and services to 236 women and girls who want to escape that life since the Task Force started, and all of our community members who have been our eyes and ears in this operation. We could not have done it without you.