‘A significant problem.’ Fresno leaders make annual pledge to fight human trafficking

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Local leaders and anti-human trafficking organizations from Fresno, Clovis and Madera counties kicked off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event on Tuesday.

Known as PTST, the event is held during National Human Trafficking Awareness Month to raise money for the organizations working to combat it.

Human trafficking is the number two criminal enterprise, not only globally, but locally in the central San Joaquin Valley, according to Debra Rush, Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains, a non-profit organization that works with local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies to help lives impacted by human trafficking.

She was a victim of human trafficking as a teen, she said by a violent gang member, until rescued by a Fresno police officer.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama, attending the event at Blackstone and Shaw avenues, said “human trafficking is a significant problem in the Fresno community. We have a lot of victims out there that need rescuing, who need help, need assistance. Us as law enforcement, we can’t arrest ourselves out of this issue, we need to provide resources and education to the people who really need it. Rescuing young ladies from this lifestyle — the addiction, the intimidation, the abuse they receive — is really high on our priority list.”

Sandy Quinn joins a rally to kick off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022, at Blackstone and Shaw avenues. The PTST is a city-wide event held during National Human Trafficking Awareness Month to bring awareness to human trafficking and to raise funds for the organizations working to combat it.
Sandy Quinn joins a rally to kick off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022, at Blackstone and Shaw avenues. The PTST is a city-wide event held during National Human Trafficking Awareness Month to bring awareness to human trafficking and to raise funds for the organizations working to combat it.
Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama speaks at a press conference as local leaders and anti-human trafficking organizations from Fresno, Clovis and Madera counties kicked off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022, at Blackstone and Shaw. He said: “human trafficking is a significant problem in the Fresno community. We have a lot of victims out there that need rescuing, who need help, need assistance. Us as law enforcement, we can’t arrest ourselves out of this issue, we need to provide resources and education to the people who really need it. Rescuing young ladies from this lifestyle- the addiction, the intimidation, the abuse they receive, is really high on our priority list.”
Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama speaks at a press conference as local leaders and anti-human trafficking organizations from Fresno, Clovis and Madera counties kicked off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022, at Blackstone and Shaw. He said: “human trafficking is a significant problem in the Fresno community. We have a lot of victims out there that need rescuing, who need help, need assistance. Us as law enforcement, we can’t arrest ourselves out of this issue, we need to provide resources and education to the people who really need it. Rescuing young ladies from this lifestyle- the addiction, the intimidation, the abuse they receive, is really high on our priority list.”
Anti-human trafficking advocates, from left, Jackie Cardona, Bernadette Agonza and Jennifer Duarte, cross Shaw Avenue at Blackstone during a rally to kick off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022. as local leaders and anti-human trafficking organizations from Fresno, Clovis and Madera counties kicked off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022. Human trafficking is the number two criminal enterprise, not only globally, but locally in the central valley, according to Debra Rush, Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains, a non-profit organization that works with local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies to help lives impacted by human trafficking.
Anti-human trafficking advocates, from left, Jackie Cardona, Bernadette Agonza and Jennifer Duarte, cross Shaw Avenue at Blackstone during a rally to kick off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022. as local leaders and anti-human trafficking organizations from Fresno, Clovis and Madera counties kicked off the 5th Annual Pledge to Stop Trafficking event (PTST), Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022. Human trafficking is the number two criminal enterprise, not only globally, but locally in the central valley, according to Debra Rush, Founder and CEO of Breaking the Chains, a non-profit organization that works with local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies to help lives impacted by human trafficking.
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