Eric Watson Invited To White House Meeting On Human Trafficking

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rep. Eric Watson (R-Cleveland), who chaired the House Judiciary Committee in the 107th General Assembly,has been invited to the White House for a session on human trafficking.

He is part of a 25-person contingent meeting with officials. The event takes place on Thursday.

Rep. Watson said he has been a leading voice when it comes to equipping law enforcement with the resources needed to combat human trafficking. For his part in the White House, he "will detail the challenges facing Tennessee as well as how state and local law enforcement agencies have worked together to stop and prevent trafficking cases from occurring."

He said, "Study after study shows the United States is facing an epidemic of human trafficking. States like Tennessee, which serve as the intersection for numerous interstate highways and have multiple regional airports, are targeted by the perpetrators of the crime.

"Human trafficking, which is also referred to as modern day slavery, is defined in federal statutes as 'the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion.'

“Tennessee, in many ways, is a hotspot for this particularly disturbing form of illegal activity—we’ve got to put a stop to that. I’m hopeful this meeting at the White House will serve as a jumping off point for increased cooperation between all levels of law enforcement so we can do just that.”

He said a 2011 report on trafficking in Tennessee by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) found:

* Eighty-five percent of Tennessee counties stated that they have investigated at least one human sex trafficking case over the last 24 months.
* Seventy-two percent of the total counties in the state reported at least one case of minor human sex trafficking.
* There were 16 entities that reported an excess of 50 cases and eight reported over 100 cases of minor cases of human sex trafficking.

Rep. Watson said, "Since that report, the General Assembly passed tough new laws against human trafficking and the TBI has added a training segment on the subject for officers and agents.

“I feel like we are making some real progress, but more has to be done. We’re going to learn about the best practices that are being utilized around the nation at this conference and I intend to bring them back to Tennessee.”


Accreditation Assessment Team Invites Public Comment On Cleveland Police Department

A team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. will arrive on Monday to examine all aspects of the Cleveland Police Department’s policy an procedures, management, operations and support services, Interim Chief Mark Gibson announced on Friday. Verification by the team that the Cleveland Police Department meets the commission’s state-of-the-art ... (click for more)

7600 Block Of Middle Valley Road To Be Closed For A Week Beginning Thursday

The 7600 block of Middle Valley Road will be closed to through traffic at Jed Lane starting on Thursday June 4 for one week for utility construction.  Detour signs will be posted. (click for more)

Work To Start Later This Year On Major Reworking Of U.S. 27 Downtown; 31 Walls To Be Erected As Cameron Hill Faces More Cuts

Work is set to start later this year on the $80 million reworking of U.S. 27 in downtown Chattanooga. TDOT's Jennifer Flynn said all of the right of way has been acquired and construction bids are tentatively scheduled to be opened in August.  The 1.4-mile project includes U.S. 27 from I-24 to south of the Olgiati Bridge.  Work was completed earlier this year ... (click for more)

2 Hurt At Soddy Daisy In Train/Car Accident

Two people were hurt in a train and car accident in Soddy Daisy. More information will follow as it becomes available.   (click for more)

Erlanger Electronic Medical Records Purchase Doesn't Add Up - And Response (2)

Erlanger has recently announced their decision to purchase a $100,000,000 Electronic Health Information System. Something smells. Erlanger's downtown campus has 760 licensed beds, according to hospital-data. That would equate to $131,578 per bed for this system (now that's a lot of ipads). Please re-read that simple math. I use to manage an Electric Medication Administration ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: City Limits Worry Dogs, Cats

If you are a dog or a cat in the Chattanooga area, it is very important to know exactly where the city limits are. You need to know that if a stray animal is rescued in the city, it is taken to one of the finest animal shelters in all of America. But if the errant pooch or tabby is found in Hamilton County – outside the city limits -- it is taken to arguably the worst animal facility ... (click for more)