Bryan, Tx (FOX44) – The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and Unbound Now Bryan-College Station announce accepting a $1.5 million grant to fight human trafficking.

With this funding the Sheriff’s Office will hire specialized personnel trained specifically to combat human trafficking, now described as the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world.

Unbound BCS will assist victims of sex trafficking and labor trafficking on their healing journey towards increased safety, independence, self-sufficiency, and stability, with these services covering a ten-county area, including Washington, Leon, Robertson, Madison, Grimes, Burleson, Lee, Walker, and Brazos counties.

The grant will be distributed over a three year period.

It was noted that the Brazos Valley is at a special risk because of its location within the “Texas Triangle” which connects DFW, Houston, and San Antonio to the rest of the country. This Texas Triangle region is considered one of the more heavily trafficked areas in the United States.

Unbound Now BCS supports survivors and resources the community to fight human trafficking in the Brazos Valley, operating a 24/7 crisis referral line exclusive for all human trafficking survivors across the Brazos Valley. Their advocacy team provides immediate on scene response in the recovery of a victim, and continues providing long term case management thereafter.

The money will also be used to establish a multidisciplinary regional task force that will incorporate community leaders from across the Brazos Valley to support and encourage a collaborative effort among local and federal law enforcement, prosecutors, victim service providers, and other partners to end human trafficking in the community.

This Task Force will have as its purpose increasing community awareness for the prevention and identification of human trafficking victims, increasing investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases at a local, state, and federal level, and providing coordinated, comprehensive, trauma-informed services to meet the individualized needs of human trafficking victims.