State Attorney Gets $1.4M to Tackle Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence in Central Florida
The state attorney’s office in Orange and Osceola counties will receive $1.4 million to tackle human trafficking and domestic violence. The money from the Florida legislature will pay for investigators, paralegals, and victim witness counselors to help build cases. State attorney Jeff Ashton says it’s the largest amount of money his office has ever received directly from the state.
“This is huge. I mean, you know, to go to the legislature with the support of your community and to get this kind of funding increase is pretty unprecedented” he said during a press conference this morning.
“You can have great prosecutors and dedicated victim advocates and dedicated paralegals, but they can only do so much.”
For human trafficking, Ashton’s office is receiving $921,270. The remaining amount, $539,044, will go to building domestic violence cases. Ashton says his office received more than 5400 cases last year. He’s planning on hiring assistant attorneys and paralegals.
“This will allow those people to sort of screen the cases and work with the victims and encourage them to cooperate—we’re going to train them in dealing with domestic violence victims—and we hope it’ll allow us to make more prosecutable cases because that’s what this is about.”
Ashton’s office will also collaborate with community partners and a public awareness campaign.
The funding will kick in July 1st.
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