Schuyler raises awareness of trafficking
SCHUYLER COUNTY-- During a short Schuyler County Legislature meeting Monday, Dec. 14 County Administrator Tim O'Hearn said a recent inspection at the county jail showed the COVID-19 guidelines in place have been effective. As it stands, O'Hearn said the Commissioner of Corrections found all protocols put in place by the county were consistent with those that had been previously recommended.
"I just want to thank the sheriff and jail staff, it is a great outcome evident from their efforts," O'Hearn said.
Board member Michael Lausell also took time to thank County Attorney Steven Getman for assisting with a lawsuit that was recently thrown out.
"We can be quite proud of the board of elections, which has representatives from both parties and they do a great job and I think someone needed to put the message out that whatever aspersions have been cast against them are incorrect," Lausell said. "I want to thank (Getman) for getting (the case) thrown out of court. It was totally unwarranted. It was baseless."
Legislative Chairman Carl Blowers took a moment to congratulate Father Michael Hartney for being the recipient of a state award for his hard work in the community.
"If you see Father Hartney please congratulate him," Blowers said.
The legislature also passed a resolution to raise awareness of, and opposition to, human trafficking and modern slavery, Monday evening.
The resolution designates January 2021 as National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month, "to acknowledge the vital role that the people of the United States have in ending human trafficking and modern slavery, culminating in the observance on Feb. 1, 2021, of National Freedom Day."
Human trafficking is a crime in which force, fraud or coercion is used to compel a person to perform labor, services or commercial sex, Getman explained. It affects all populations and all economic classes, including both adults and children.
According to the resolution, human trafficking and modern slavery have been reported and investigated in each of the fifty states. It calls for "continued partnerships with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as social service providers and nonprofit organizations to address human trafficking with a collaborative, victim-centered approach; and all other efforts to prevent, eradicate, and raise awareness of, and opposition to, human trafficking and modern slavery."
According to Getman, the recognition period for National Trafficking and Modern Slavery Prevention Month is because January 1 is the anniversary of the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation and February 1, "National Freedom Day," is the anniversary of the date on which President Lincoln sent the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which outlawed slavery, to the states for ratification. The month was first federally recognized in 2010.
Getman noted that citizens who suspect an act of human trafficking in their area can report a tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. This national, toll-free hotline is available to answer calls from anywhere in the country.
The meeting, which was under 20 minutes, ended with board members wishing everyone in the community a happy holiday and a Merry Christmas.