The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) invite you to their webinar “Partnerships to Address Labor Trafficking: How to Build a Multidisciplinary Team.”
Investigators will benefit from learning about practices and innovative strategies for investigating and addressing labor trafficking cases. Establishing trusted multidisciplinary relationships can lead to significant progress in identifying, apprehending, and convicting labor traffickers while safeguarding the lives of victims and their families.
This webinar will examine the components of a successful multidisciplinary labor trafficking investigation team:
• Detecting labor trafficking and recognizing each of its stages.
• Identifying the critical partners for a multidisciplinary team.
• Establishing a multidisciplinary team, and why it is critical for addressing cases involving labor trafficking.
This webinar is recommended for investigators (law enforcement and prosecutorial) and other law enforcement personnel directly involved in labor trafficking cases. No registration fee or cost is required to participate in the webinar.
This resource was developed as part of the Partnerships to Address Labor Trafficking project, designed to improve the awareness, responsiveness, and accountability among law enforcement, businesses, communities, and other stakeholders on labor trafficking. This project is a collaborative effort between the COPS Office and IIR.
Ms. Cindy Martinez Lewis has served 13 years with the Los Angeles, California City Attorney’s Office. She is currently the paralegal for the Sex and Labor Trafficking Program, where, among other projects, she is primarily responsible for administering the groundbreaking prefiling diversion pilot program, Project Beacon. This project uses victim assistance grant funds to allow Journey Out, a victim services provider, to (1) screen for victims of human trafficking and to get them appropriate services, including legal services to handle SB823 petitions to vacate prior arrest and convictions for those violations that they were forced to commit while being trafficked; and (2) provide an earlier opportunity for intervention, education, and empowerment for those who are involved in commercial sex but do not immediately identify as victims. Ms. Martinez Lewis coordinates with a Journey Out eligibility case manager, who is assigned to follow up and support those who accept Project Beacon and complete the eight classes within 60 days of arrest in order to avoid court. The grant allows funds to be used for items such as bus tokens, child care, and certain job-seeking expenses to assist in addressing barriers to completion of the classes.
Ms. Rena Shahandeh is the Deputy City Attorney assigned to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office’s Sex and Labor Trafficking Program. She has more than 20 years’ experience with the City Attorney’s Office. As a trial deputy in the criminal branch, she handled domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, battery, and driving under the influence cases. She quickly worked her way up to the Specialized Gang Unit, where she was assigned to the Northeast and Pacific Community Law Enforcement and Recovery (CLEAR) Units. There, she prosecuted the city’s most hard-core gangs, including MS-13, 18th Street, the Avenues, and the Venice Shoreline Crips. Most recently, Ms. Shahandeh was in the civil branch defending complex, high-profile Los Angeles, California Police Department (LAPD) civil rights cases in both state and federal court. Notably, she defended LAPD from a civil lawsuit filed by the traffickers in the notorious Guatemalan sex trafficking case involving juvenile girls. Ms. Shahandeh also has defended against class actions, including one involving 5,700 plaintiffs. Ms. Shahandeh has also served as lead trial counsel in more than 60 jury trials.
Mr. Anh Truong is currently the Supervising Attorney of the Sex and Labor Trafficking Program at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. He chairs the Labor Trafficking Subcommittee of the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and is also a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Human Trafficking Task Force. Mr. Truong has drafted state legislation to expand civil abatement laws to address human trafficking as well as to permit local municipal enforcement of human trafficking laws. He has also filed civil abatement actions against motels that have served as bases for human trafficking, narcotics, and other illegal activities. With respect to implementing a victim-centered approach, Mr. Truong has handled some of the first SB823 vacatur petitions filed by counsel to vacate a victim’s prior arrests and convictions for violations that they were forced to commit while being trafficked. Notably, he also cofounded Project Beacon, a prefiling diversion program that coordinates with Journey Out in screening, intervention, education, and empowerment.