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A new investigative unit tasked with cracking down on human trafficking in Georgia has started paying dividends after its creation last year, according to state law enforcement officials and Gov. Brian Kemp.

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp has launched a website aimed at training state workers and the general public in how to detect and respond to warning signs of human trafficking.

The Georgia Department of Administrative Services (doas.ga.gov) is administering the website, which will offer training to more than 80,000 state workers as well as any member of the public interested in the program.

The entire staff of the governor’s office will participate, including Kemp, as will all DOAS employees.

“Together, we can … raise awareness of human trafficking and identify instances of sex trafficking,” the governor said in announcing the program at the Georgia Capitol.

Kemp and his wife, first lady Marty Kemp, have made human trafficking a top priority. Last year, during his first year in office, Kemp issued an executive order creating a commission of public and law enforcement officials, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, health care executives and subject matter experts to spearhead the initiative.

The GRACE Commission is co-chaired by Marty Kemp; Georgia House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton; and Vic Reynolds, director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

There are an estimated 1.5 million victims of human trafficking in the United States. The FBI recently named Atlanta as one of 14 cities with abnormally high rates of human trafficking. But Marty Kemp said human trafficking is occurring across Georgia.

“There are terrible people out there who control (victims’) every move and force them to do unspeakable things,” she said. “Education and awareness is the way to fight against human trafficking.”

While the training program recognizes there are several forms of human trafficking, it focuses primarily on child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation.

“This will be a tough battle against a ruthless enemy,” DOAS Commissioner Alex Atwood said. “But it’s one we can win if we work together.”

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