By Katherine Hessel. Published Friday, April 18th, 2014.
The Tri-Cities made history today by signing the first co-operative protocol to combat sex trafficking of minors in the state of Washington. This protocol was signed by all of the law enforcement agencies in the area, the county prosecutors, social services and advocacy groups. Richland Police Chief Chris Skinner said the Tri-Cities coalition against trafficking made this protocol because they can see indicators of sex trafficking in the area and want to be proactive on the issue. The Tri-Cities coalition against trafficking started creating this protocol in 2012. All of the agencies gave their input and they were able to figure out what would work and what would not. Local experts said the crime of minors being sex trafficked is under reported. One of the goals of this protocol is to provide a more accurate number of how many minors are trafficked.