By SARAH GRACE TAYLOR
In honor of human trafficking awareness month, Spring Hill and Franklin are hosting relevant panels for the public in January.
According to the Steering Committee for the Human Trafficking Awareness Conference, 94 teenagers in Tennessee are trafficked per month, necessitating awareness in the county and the state.
The Williamson County Association for Family and Community Education, in conjunction with UT Extension, has partnered with the United Methodist Women of Franklin First United Methodist Church to coordinate the 2018 Williamson County Human Trafficking Awareness Conference.
This event takes place on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Thursday Jan. 11, at Franklin First UMC, 120 Aldersgate Way, off Mack Hatcher Parkway. The conference will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., with registration at 8:30 a.m.
The event is designed for leaders in education, government and community organizations. Information and strategies will be presented for all attendees to share with their associates at work or in the community as a way to continue to form alliances to fight human trafficking.
The day will open with Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson, followed by keynote speaker Rick Stout, special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Tim Estes, founder and CEO of Digital Reasoning in Cool Springs, will describe how his company’s software program “Spotlight” tracks sexual predators. Attendees will also hear a survivor story, followed by a panel discussion led by Jill Rutter, director of community outreach at End Slavery Tennessee.
Panelists will include Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long, Franklin Police Detective Cory Kroegar, and Rev. Jason Brock. Register for the Human Trafficking Awareness Conference at: http://franklinfumc.org/event/human-trafficking/. The cost of $10 is thanks to the underwriting by the Franklin Breakfast Rotary, Williamson County Association for Family and Community Education, three local family and community education clubs, as well as in-kind donations by Franklin First UMC and School Facility Management. Seating is limited to 125, so early registration is recommended. A boxed lunch is included. A certificate of five contact hours will be provided. In the event of inclement weather, please check the church website for cancellation information. The event will not be rescheduled. Participants are encouraged to bring gift cards to donate to End Slavery Tennessee clients.
The Spring Hill Police Department is partnering with Unchained Movement to host a domestic sex trafficking professional training course later in the month.
The event will be on Jan. 25 at Spring Hill City Hall from 1-5 p.m.
The course will focus on victim identification, psychological impact, community impact, first responder intervention and resources for victims of sex trafficking.
Registration for the event is $15. To register, visit unchanedmovement.com.