|For Immediate Release
August 30, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
ONE WEEK TO GO AS SUPPORT KEEPS GROWING FOR “KEEP CALM AND BEAT H.E.A.T. ROCKING & RALLY”
SANTA ANA – Just over one week to go and the support keeps growing as new sponsors sign on to stand up against human exploitation and trafficking for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) “Keep Calm and Beat H.E.A.T. Rocking & Rally.” The event will be held Sept. 9, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Twila Reid Park, 3100 West Orange Avenue, Anaheim. There will be police patrol cars, informational booths, food trucks, free frozen yogurt, and a rock concert.
United States Attorneys’ Office Support Against H.E.A.T.
“Human trafficking and exploitation is a growing concern in Orange County and throughout Southern California,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “All too often these appalling crimes occur in plain sight, and those of us in law enforcement want to educate the public on the warning signs and signals to look for to help us combat this epidemic. I applaud District Attorney Rackauckas for taking an innovative and collaborative approach towards educating the public and treating the root causes of this serious problem.”
This year, the OCDA will host this first-of-its-kind event along with its co-sponsors to fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation (H.E.A.T.) as part of a new initiative to go after perpetrators of human trafficking and exploitation with vigor, while taking a comprehensive approach to solve the problem and bring community stakeholders together.
Twila Reid Park was chosen as the location because it is less than a mile from Beach Boulevard and Ball Road in Anaheim, an area known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area and frequently used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain.
The OCDA announced in April 2013 that it was forming the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers. Commercial sex trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise behind narcotics trafficking. Often the perpetrators are gang members and/or career criminals.
The HEAT Unit also targets defendants who create a demand for prostitution by soliciting and purchasing sex, which increases the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators and sex purchasers; Education for law enforcement to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources from public-private partnerships to raise public awareness about human trafficking and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity, to inform the public and send a message to human traffickers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.