Eric Watson Invited To White House Meeting On Human Trafficking

Sunday, December 02, 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.”


Hamilton County Emergency Services Joins TEMA And Walgreens To Promote Importance Of Emergency Preparedness

Officials from Hamilton County Emergency Services, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and Walgreens will host a press conference at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at Walgreens, 110 N. Market St.  The press conference will promote September as National Preparedness Month, offer ideas to individuals and families on being prepared for disasters and emergencies, and recognize ... (click for more)

Daughters And Sons Of The American Revolution Chapters Participate In Community Festival At Brainerd

The Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution participated in the Festival at Brainerd Mission Shopping Center. The five DAR chapters Nancy Ward, Chickamauga, Moccasin Bend, Judge David Campbell and Chief John Ross provided the Manpower, along with the John Sevier SAR chapter, to showcase one of Chattanooga's historical sites. The Brainerd Mission cemetery belongs ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)