November 6th, 2020
Waterloo Region, Ontario – The joint Waterloo-Guelph Human Trafficking team has officially launched and will work to offer wraparound services to victims and survivors of human trafficking throughout Guelph, Wellington and Waterloo Region.
This joint initiative brings together partners from the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS), the Guelph Police Service (GPS), Victim Services of Waterloo and Wellington/Guelph and the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre to offer a holistic approach to human trafficking incidents.
The team, which will be hosted by the Waterloo Regional Police Service, is made up of two investigators from the WRPS, one investigator from GPS, and a Human Trafficking Crisis Intervention Counsellor from Victim Services.
The goal of the collaborative team is to not only offer investigative services, but to offer counselling, emergency housing needs, medical needs, and basic supplies. St. John Ambulance will also provide therapy dogs to assist victims and survivors throughout the investigation and court process.
The Joint Waterloo/Guelph Human Trafficking Team has been made possible through the Proceeds of Crime (POC) Front-Line Policing (FLP) Grant Program funding provided by the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Quotes from participating organizations:
Bruce Moffat, Executive Director of the Victim Services Waterloo Region
“Having an advocate dedicated full-time to the needs of victims and survivors of human trafficking and their families has been a need of both Victim Services Waterloo Region and Wellington for quite some time. We are thrilled to have a member of our agency embedded in the new joint Human Trafficking Team to ensure a proactive approach and timely response to addressing human trafficking across Waterloo and Guelph. The collaborative efforts we envision with the members of this team will ensure better supported victims thorough police investigations and streamlined care amongst our community partners.”
Julia Manuel, Director of the Waterloo Region Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre
“This partnership will enhance services to victims of human trafficking, providing a seamless wrap-around service to individuals throughout our Region and Guelph/Wellington.
Guelph Police Service Chief Gord Cobey
“We are committed to working collaboratively with our community partners to eliminate the harmful impacts of these terrible crimes in our community. We are thankful for the support and funding which has made this initiative possible.”
Waterloo Regional Police Service Chief Bryan Larkin
“The Waterloo Regional Police Service is proud to host the new Joint Waterloo-Guelph Human Trafficking team that will offer an enhanced response to human trafficking throughout Guelph, Wellington and Waterloo Region. Human trafficking knows no boundaries. The trauma caused to victims can sometimes be so harmful that they refuse to come forward to ask for help. This collaborative effort shows the importance of everyone working together to support victims and survivors to ensure they receive the help they need and to ensure we prevent future victims of this heinous crime.”
Waterloo Regional Police Service
Public Information Unit
519-570-9777 (WRPS) ext. 8773