The classroom presentations have already started for the year!
This is our third semester at Cactus High School presenting to Law Enforcement and Social Justice classes. Most of the students are interested in a career in law enforcement in one form or another.
We have started to introduce an action item specific to these classes, since one of the topics emphasized in the presentation describes how law enforcement combats sex trafficking. We are firm believers that students are a key component in the fight for justice. We are also firm believers that students do not have to wait to make a difference. In fact, they have the ability to make a difference before even leaving the classroom.
Phoenix PD has a VICE Enforcement Unit that specializes in recovering victims of sex trafficking and catching pimps and sex buyers. They are currently the only specialized unit of its kind in the state of Arizona, and not only handle cases throughout the state but nationally with their collaboration with FBI.
Red Light Rebellion works closely with VICE detectives, spreading awareness and scheming on how to disrupt the mediocre to create cultural shifts that will decrease exploitation. While talking with one of our detective friends, she was explaining the challenges VICE faces to just do their job well: they are extremely under-funded. This means they are not getting adequate funding to provide proper technology to conduct day-to-day operations, have had budget cuts that prevent them from working night shifts (when a huge amount of activity happens), and do not have the budget in order to replace detectives as they retire – meaning they do not have enough detectives to handle the amount of cases they are currently working or have coming in!
We think that if students make enough noise about it, these situations could change for the better. So we now give students an opportunity to sign a letter and send it to the Phoenix City Chief of Police and City Manager. This is a way to make a difference that students can do while sitting in their chair in class. Not only do they feel like they are a part of something big, they really are! Students are engaging the government, making their voice heard, and that for the safety of others. These letters will not go unnoticed, especially when 30+ of them are sent out about every 6 months!
We can all do something significant to combat sex trafficking. What will you do?