Snohomish County Receives Funds to Fight Child Prostitution

By:  Heidi Dietrich, Edmonds Patch
Source: Edmonds Patch

The Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office will receive a $449,908 U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing (COPS) grant to address child sex trafficking.

The county is one of 20 law enforcement organizations around the country being awarded federal funding through the COPS program. The Child Sexual Predator Program grants total more than $9.3 million. Funds are intended to help local law enforcement locate, arrest and prosecute child sexual predators and enforce state sex offender registration laws.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, who lives in Edmonds, is a supporter of the COPS program.

“This investment will help law enforcement keep Snohomish County families safe and put child predators behind bars,” Cantwell said in a statement. 

With the new funding, Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe will build a team focused on going after child sex traffickers. The team will include a Deputy Prosecutor, Sheriff’s detective, and support staff. The grant will also provide for forensic computer tools and resources to enlist expert witnesses for trials.

 “Sex trafficking of children, kids forced into lives of prostitution and drugs, happens in Washington, as it does everywhere in the country," Roe said in a statement. "This Department of Justice grant gives Snohomish County a way to fight it; a way to hunt down and hold accountable those who hurt kids and profit financially from their sexual abuse."

More information, including the full list of Child Sexual Predator Program 2011 grantees, can be found online at www.cops.usdoj.gov.