The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force recently participated in the 8th Annual “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild” along with more than 80 federal state and local law enforcement agencies, and task forces from across California. The operation focuses on rescuing victims of human trafficking, identifying and arresting their traffickers, disrupting the demand for vulnerable victims, and connecting victims of human trafficking with victim resources.
The Santa Barbara County Human Trafficking Task Force is comprised of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Maria Police Department, and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. The Santa Barbara County sting operations took place from February 9-12, 2022 and resulted in the arrest of 14 sex buyers. Two potential victims of human trafficking were identified and connected with local resources through the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Victim-Witness Program.
Today, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department hosted a press conference where the statewide totals for “Operation Reclaim Rebuild” were announced. This years’ statewide coordinate effort resulted in the rescue of 73 juvenile and adult victims, and the arrest of 477 individuals for crimes associated with human trafficking.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking division was established in 2016 through a grant from the United States Department of Justice. The grant was renewed in 2020 with $1.2 million in funding for three years.
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, please call the Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip line at (805)681-4171 or provide an anonymous tip online on our website.