Dunwoody recognized nationally for battling sex trafficking

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

Credit: Steve Schaefer/AJC

Dunwoody has become only the second city in America to receive the “City of Freedom” seal from Safe House Project for fighting sex trafficking.

This month Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch will issue a proclamation recognizing training and education as important tools to fight sex trafficking and calling on city employees and residents to do their part.

“With this commitment and proclamation, Dunwoody will become only the second city in the country to earn our ‘City of Freedom’ seal,” said Kristi Wells, CEO of Safe House Project, a national anti-trafficking organization.

“This shows the city’s commitment to education and awareness as critical steps to end sex trafficking,” Wells said.

Her proclamation will be presented during the Dunwoody City Council meeting today.

Dunwoody City Council Member Tom Lambert is spearheading the effort.

“Dunwoody is already leading the way in fighting sex trafficking through enforcement and prosecution,” Lambert said.

“This proclamation goes a step further by encouraging all of us to learn how we can play a role protecting victims,” Lambert added.

Provided for free by the Safe House Project at SafeHouseProject.org, the online training at iamonwatch.org helps individuals understand what trafficking looks like in their community and provides actionable steps to report suspected trafficking.

This instruction aligns with similar training already required of officers with the Dunwoody Police Department.

Tuesday is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

People who see something that doesn’t look right are asked to take action and call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233733.

In October, the Dunwoody City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to make sex sting operations at hotels more effective by removing vague language that made it difficult to prosecute pimps.

The ordinance also makes it illegal to transport people for the purpose of prostitution or sex solicitation.

Dunwoody Police have made at least 10 prostitution, soliciting or pimping arrests each year since 2016.