Oakland County Board of Commissioners Launch Website for National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Press Conference and Launch of the New Resource Website on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

On Thursday, January 11, at 2:00 p.m., the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Oakland County Health Division and Sheriff’s Office, will hold a press conference to raise awareness about human trafficking in the region and to announce the launch of a new County website. The Oakland County Human Trafficking website will provide vital resources and information about human trafficking in Oakland County for victims and their advocates, parents, professionals, and anyone interested in learning more about this issue. The website was a collaborative effort on behalf of the Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF) and its partners.

Oakland County Human Trafficking Task Force Logo

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

“This is our first step towards a wider and more comprehensive collaboration in the battle against human trafficking in Oakland County,” said Board Vice Chairman Michael Spisz, who chairs the Oakland County HTTF. “We will continue to push to educate the public and to find effective ways to fight against those that promote, participate or support human trafficking in any way. As a father, it is scary to believe this problem even exists, but it drives me and others to work even harder to protect those that are least able to protect themselves.”

Commissioner Spisz will open the press conference, which will include remarks from Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard, Kathy Forzley, Director of the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services, and Chief Eric Hawkins of the Southfield Police Department. Oakland County judicial officials and representatives from the offices of Attorney General Bill Schuette and Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica R. Cooper, as well several other elected officials, will join representatives from Homeland Security, the FBI and numerous local police departments and area social service agencies that are attending in order to demonstrate their support for the collaborative and widespread effort to combat human trafficking in the region.

“The Health Division is committed to collaborating with our partners to host this website, strengthen data collection, target public awareness, expand training, and empower survivors of trafficking,” said Kathy Forzley, who will present highlights of the new website at the press conference.

The Board of Commissioners created the Oakland County HTTF in response to the serious threat that human trafficking poses to vulnerable people in Oakland County, and to the safety and health of all its residents. The bipartisan leadership of the HTTF includes Board Vice Chairman Michael Spisz (R-Oxford), Commissioner Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake) and Commissioner Janet Jackson (D-Southfield). The other members include representatives from the Oakland County Health Division, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, Oakland County Youth Assistance, Oakland Schools, CARE House of Oakland County and Common Ground. The primary objectives of the Task Force are to prevent the crime of human trafficking and to protect and rehabilitate victims through education, advocacy and collaboration. For more information about the Oakland County HTTF, please visit www.oakgov.com/boc.

The press conference is open to the public and will be held in the Commissioners Auditorium at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac, Michigan. Those unable to attend can watch it live at  by clicking the link on the home page or by going to the “Watch the Board” section of the website. Social media users can follow along on Twitter at #OaklandCounty and the Oakland County Health Division will stream the event on Facebook Live. For more information, please call the Board of Commissioners office at 248-858-0100.

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