Wisconsin justice department announces Human Trafficking Bureau

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin's Attorney General has announced the creation of a state Human Trafficking Bureau.

AG Brad Schimel says the bureau, which is part of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, will develop a statewide strategy to target and prosecute human traffickers.

Seven special agents from the Division of Criminal Investigation will staff the bureau and work with local and regional tasks forces on human trafficking.

“We are excited and encourage by the efforts of Attorney General Schimel with the new formation of the DOJ Human Trafficking Bureau,” said Brown County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Jim Valley. “We know that the partnership with the DOJ and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office will continue to help protect those that are victimized by this crime. We are confident that the added enforcement will promote change and help identify and stabilize victims.”

The bureau is also working with the state legislature on bills to target human trafficking and provide support to victims.

The DOJ says the bureau was created through the reorganization of the Division of Criminal Investigation, and will not increase the organization's budget.

Action 2 News' Sarah Thomsen has been covering human trafficking in Northeast Wisconsin. Recent reports:

Hotel employees learning signs of human trafficking

Sex trafficking bill imposes hefty charge on johns

Profile of a Brown County Sex Buyer: Middle aged, married, and educated

'Buyer beware': Brown County human trafficking sting results in 35 arrests

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