Williams told the News-Leader on Tuesday he appreciates the work the anti-trafficking activists do, the passion they bring to the table and the occasional tips they share with the police department.But these groups have not convinced him that there's an organized sex trafficking structure, nor have they been able to offer hard evidence supporting their claims."It's more rumor and conjecture," Williams said."Law enforcement officials often don't know how to identify human trafficking and charge that in addition to other crimes."One tactic Springfield police are considering is a unit that will have trafficking investigations as part of its responsibilities.
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The allegations against Mc Caw align with Alvarez's view of how trafficking has proliferated.
Alvarez blamed increased heroin use in Springfield as part of the drug trafficking problem.
And people can be forced into a position where they are reusable commodities — a bag of weed can be sold only once, but a person forced into prostitution can be used as a recurring source of profit.
Casey Alvarez, founder and executive director of a faith-based anti-trafficking nonprofit, is of the mind that widespread human trafficking exists and that trafficking networks are active in Springfield."There's a big system," she said.
The vice unit will not be limited to trafficking and would also include investigations into prostitution, gambling and liquor violations, he said."I think I need a domestic violence unit rather than a vice unit if I'm having to pick priorities, for example," he said.