Saturday, June 1, 2019
ATLANTA— Federal, state and local officials located dozens of missing and exploited children as a result of Operation Safe Summer II. The successful efforts were led by the FBI's Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking (MATCH) task force.
A total of 27 law enforcement agencies worked together from May 1, 2019 to May 24, 2019 to locate 231 children. The FBI says, the goal was to combat all forms of child exploitation and make the community safer heading into the summer months. The operation concluded by National Missing Children's Day which was on May 25th.
The FBI released this data in conjuction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:
In 2018, more than 23,500 runaways were reported to NCMEC and one in seven were likely victims of child sex trafficking.
In 2016, 11% of endangered runaways were believed to be involved in gangs.
It is estimated as of March 2019, there were 419 missing/runaway children on the streets of the five-county Metro Atlanta region.
“Thanks to the month-long efforts of our partners, 231 children are no longer vulnerable to predators who would seek to exploit them,” said Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. “Operation Safe Summer is another example of the FBI’s commitment to protecting our children before they become victims.”
According to FBI officials, with summer comes children out of school, spending more time on line and on their smart phones, leading to a hot time for sexual predators.
With an emphasis on prevention, OSS concentrated much of its efforts on locating and identifying those vulnerable children before they were targeted by sexual predators.
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