The Detroit Public Safety Foundation is celebrating "Women In Blue" for the month of May. The Women in Blue program is a celebration of the women within the Detroit Police Department, Detroit Fire Department and EMS. While doing research on the "Women In Blue" program, I came across a story about Officer Danielle Woods. After learning more about her, her time on the force, and how she is building community bridges in Detroit, I knew she had to be featured as a WCSX "Woman Who Rocks".
Officer Woods is the LGBTQ community liaison for the Detroit Police Department. She is also the instructor of the LGBTQ sensitivity, awareness and competency training program. The course is designed to educate law enforcement, organizations, businesses, and citizens on the cultural competence of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning community. Her goal is to raise awareness regarding diversity and inclusiveness, practical skills, language/terminology, gender sensitivity, and insight into engaging members of the LGBTQ community. Officer Woods has been a member of the force for 17 years, and she is a Lesbian.
Officer Woods has worked with law enforcement across the state and the country. Recently she visited Traverse City.
"I think everybody in this room will walk away learning something today and that's the goal," said Traverse City Police Department officer and LGBTQ Liaison Taylor Comiskey. The Traverse City Police Department worked with Detroit Police to bridge a communication gap.
In the 2nd half of the podcast Cyndy Schalter-Salsido from Turning Point Macomb and I discuss Human Trafficking. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state, including Michigan. The human trafficking hotline organization has been tracking stats in our state since 2007, and when I read the numbers, I was shocked. You can view those stats here.
Cyndy and I discuss what trafficking is, how it happens and how to spot the signs of someone who is being trafficked,
Annual data released by Polaris says cases of human trafficking reported from Michigan increased in 2017. In that year, 309 cases of human trafficking were reported to the helplines from Michigan, an increase from 251 reported cases in 2016.
Polaris reports that there was a 13 percent increase in reported human trafficking cases nationwide in 2017.
In 2017, 7,255 victims of sex trafficking and 1,979 victims of labor trafficking were identified; more survivors contacted the National Human Trafficking Hotline directly than ever before, with 2,144 survivors reaching out for help. That hotline is always available - 1 (888) 373-7888
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Domestic violence and sexual assault rob an individual of their sense of safety, power, and dignity. Turning Point provides emergency and support services to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Turning Point strives to provide a safe non-judgmental place for survivors to explore their feelings and options, and regain control of their lives.
There is a 24 crisis line: