MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — The NYPD has already rescued 27 people in sex trafficking cases this year, six more than the 2016 total, police officials said Wednesday.
It had also made 53 pimp arrests as of Monday, compared to 47 at the same point last year, according to department statistics.
“Our focus is away from people who are forced into prostitution and onto buyers and people who are forcing people,” NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Osgood, the commanding officer of the Special Victims Division, told a crowd of roughly 100 people at a religious symposium in Morningside Heights.
The NYPD in February launched a 24-hour hotline that enables tipsters to speak directly to Special Victims Division investigators. It also added 15 detectives to its vice squad specifically tasked with probing sex trafficking.
On Tuesday night, a mother approached Mayor Bill de Blasio at a town hall meeting in Brooklyn claiming her 22-year-old daughter had been a victim of human trafficking.
“My heart goes out to you to say the least,” the mayor said. “Every complaint needs to be taken seriously. We’re going to make sure no mother goes through something like that.”
On Wednesday, Ivanka Trump led a White House roundtable featuring lawmakers and representatives from human trafficking groups.
“Combating human trafficking and modern slavery is both a moral and strategic interest domestically and abroad," she said, according to USA Today.