Human Trafficking Task Force

Managed by Deputy Sheriff Keith Bickford

Human trafficking, including sex and labor trafficking, is a growing problem in Oregon, due in part to the traffic permitted by Interstates I-5 and I-84 and the Willamette and Columbia rivers and the state’s large seasonal farming community. Some observers claim that Portland has one of the largest sex industries of any city in the United States.

In 2005, the County received a six-year grant to coordinate and improve efforts to reduce human trafficking. The grant provided funding for a human trafficking coordinator, who now manages the operations of the task force. The objectives of the task force include (a) locating victims of human trafficking and connecting them with necessary services, (b) identifying gaps in services for victims and developing strategies for filling those gaps and (c) coordinating efforts of law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute human traffickers. In recognition of the importance of the task force’s work, the City of Portland and Multnomah County passed resolutions in June 2009 recognizing the work of the Human Trafficking Task Force and supporting the Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans Campaign (OATH).

Learn more about Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans (OATH)!

Projects & Accomplishments

In addition to pursuing the objectives described above, the Human Trafficking Task Force’s accomplished the following tasks in 2009:

  • Collaborated with relevant federal authorities
  • Alerted parents and schools about the problem of human trafficking
  • Supported the establishment of a secure shelter for juvenile victims of sex trafficking
  • Promoted and screened the film “Playground"