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Human Trafficking Section

Human Trafficking Section

The Human Trafficking Unit is responsible for the investigation and enforcement of state and federal crimes involving the sexual exploitation of human beings; reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual criminal activity and strengthen the capabilities of federal, state and local law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance.

The objective of the section is to identify and rescue individuals who are being sexually exploited through prostitution as well as to identify and initiate investigations into those responsible for this exploitation.

A primary function of the unit is the identification and rescue of juvenile victims lured into the sex trade.  Other functions include:

•    Investigative prostitution-related offenses as they connect to organized crime.
•    Identification and arrest of individuals involved in human trafficking for the
      purpose of prostitution.
•    Liaison with Robbery Homicide Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation,
     Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. State Department, and the Los Angeles
     County District Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute cases of human
      trafficking.
•    Investigate and prosecute pimp organizations involved in domestic trafficking, with
     a strong emphasis on individuals who traffic in minors.
•    Conduct computer-based investigations to identify and apprehend suspects who
      utilize the internet as a means of enticing and/or coercing young people into
      prostitution.
•    Assist Area vice units in conducting prostitution related investigations and/or
      task force operations.
•    Assist Area vice units in identifying and removing problem/nuisance locations.

The Animal Cruelty Unit (Animal Cruelty Task Force) was formed in 2005 to combine the law enforcement expertise of the LAPD, the Department of Animal Services, the prosecution efforts of the Los Angeles City Attorney (CA) and Los Angeles District Attorney’s (DA) Offices.  This partnership was created to enhance the City’s efforts in prosecuting criminal activity involving animal abuse, and breaking the connection between animal abuse and human violence.   The Animal Cruelty Task Force has primary responsibility to investigate the most egregious forms of suspected animal abuse including: Dog fighting, cockfighting, aggravated animal abuse that results in serious Injury or death, severe animal neglect (felony cases), bestiality, animal poisoning, and animal sacrifice.

The Hate Crime Unit (HCU) is primary responsible for collecting, maintaining and disseminating statistics on all incidents motivated by hate or prejudice.  The unit analyzes the data for identification of patterns, trends, modus operandi and responsible parties to assist the Department to respond appropriately.  Provide hate crime education, prevention and enforcement where designated as part of the Annual Work Plan.  In addition, the HCU will coordinate and assist an incident motivated by hate or prejudice as directed by the Deputy Chief, Detective Bureau.

References:

•    Hate Crimes Resource Pamphlet
•    Stop Hate and Respect Everyone (S.H.A.R.E)
•    Crimenes de Odio - Folleto de Recursos

The Missing Persons Unit (MPU) investigates approximately 3,200 adult Missing Person (M/P) reports annually, or 250 to 300 reports per month.  Contrary to public belief, federal law prohibits the observance of a waiting period before accepting a M/P report.

Approximately 70 percent of all reported missing persons are found or voluntarily return within 48 to 72 hours.  Not all adult missing persons are the victims of kidnapping, murders, or some other criminal act.

There are a variety of reasons why a person voluntarily disappears including mental illness, depression, substance abuse, credit problems, abusive relationships, or marital discord.  California law classifies M/P reports as “non-criminal”; however, they take investigative precedence over crimes involving property, thus establishing a “due diligence” responsibility on the part of the adult MPU.

Being a “voluntary” missing person is not a crime.  Any adult person can simply walk away, and choose to ignore family, friends, associates and employers.  Since this type of behavior is not “criminal,” law enforcement is limited on how they conduct these types of investigations.  When facts and circumstances indicate a strong possibility of “foul-play,” or the disappearance is the result of a criminal act, the investigation will continue along such a course.

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