On January 11, 2019, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Rifle City Prosecutor Angela Roff and the Rifle Police Department are hosting the 2019 Western Slope Human Trafficking Summit at Colorado Mountain College in Rifle. This free event is sponsored by the Klein Frank Foundation and is open to anyone who would like to know more about how to identify and prevent human trafficking. Citizens and professionals who have regular contact with the public are encouraged to attend. Spotting the signs and identifying possible victims is crucial for elimination of the problem.
According to Attorney Roff, “[w]e have put together a broad line up which includes presenters from law enforcement, attorneys, a survivor and community resources. The breadth of experience and perspectives will inform and inspire the attendees to put an end to human trafficking. We also have some incredibly dedicated donors and presenters to provide all of this training for free to the Western Slope. In addition to the free education, there will be refreshments and lunch and many opportunities to mingle and network with other people with a common interest. Finally, the setting is outstanding here in Rifle, Colorado. We have the auditorium at the Rifle CMC which seats up to 287 people and has plenty of parking and easy access to the highway, lodging, shopping, entertainment and recreational opportunities that are unique to our area.”
That philosophy is mirrored by Beth Klein of the Klein Frank Foundation.
“I am in this because this is a ‘can do’ community. With some knowledge, tools and connections, Western Colorado could eradicate human trafficking. At this conference, participants will learn the law, meet the stakeholders and become part of the solution. We need as many people to participate as possible.”
Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein emphasizes the need to have skilled observers in every town no matter how small or seemingly remote.
“It is easy to dismiss human trafficking as something that only happens in large metropolitan areas and the ‘can’t happen here’ mindset is a mistake that is easily made by law enforcement in smaller communities. Trafficking happens everywhere there is demand for cheap labor and prostitution. It is up to our profession to become fully aware of the problem and support efforts to combat this crime and assist the victims. We must look beyond the victim, who can easily be mistaken as a ‘suspect’ at times, to reach the root of the problem – the trafficker himself and consumers of the services. Having the skills to recognize the signs, pushing an investigation ahead and knowing where to go for victim services is law enforcement’s responsibility. This training is the first step in battling a problem which is an affront to basic human rights and decency.”
Participating law enforcement and attorneys will qualify to receive POST or continuing legal education credits. Additionally, CMC is crediting one CEU and free certificate upon request from any attendee. Local hotels are offering discounts to people who may be coming from outside the area.
The Summit is January 11th and will run from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at Colorado Mountain College, 3695 Airport Road in Rifle. Due to anticipated high participation, pre-registration is encouraged to guarantee a spot and to ensure adequate amounts of food and course materials.
For the complete itinerary and to register to attend, please visit: https://init2endit.com/western-colorado-conference/
Media Contact: Kathy Pototsky, 970-319-8288