FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award Presented to Patricia McCay for Human Trafficking Awareness
|FBI Birmingham December 16, 2011|
BIRMINGHAM—FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Patrick J. Maley announced that Patricia McCay, of Huntsville, Alabama, is the recipient of the 2011 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). SAC Maley made the announcement and presented a certificate to Ms. McCay at a press conference in Huntsville today. Ms. McCay will attend a presentation in March in Washington, DC, where FBI Director Robert Mueller will present a formal award to her and other recipients from across the country.
Since 1990, the FBI has recognized individuals and organizations whose achievements in the terrorism, crime, drug, gang or violence prevention/education field had an exemplary impact on the community. Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office selects an individual or organization that has made a major contribution in these areas.
As a member of the Soroptimist Club, Ms. McCay became aware of human trafficking issues across the world, since human trafficking awareness is one of the defined missions of that organization.
In 2008, Ms. McCay became a member of the Madison County, Alabama, Coordinated Community Response Taskforce Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (the Taskforce).
In October of 2009, she was responsible for the inclusion of human trafficking as of focus of the Taskforce and adding human trafficking to the name of the Taskforce.
Through her leadership, in 2010, the Taskforce created a sub-committee that focuses on defining a coalition of services and service providers in north Alabama to help prepare the community for any human trafficking victims identified or rescued, as well as sponsored Madison County’s first ever “Human Trafficking Awareness Day” observance.
Ms. McCay continues to educate a cross section of the community on human trafficking issues, including interfaith mission service groups, local businesses, universities, and civic groups. One of her most recent community education efforts was a “Lunch and Learn” program which focused on social justice issues.
Ms. McCay’s future plans include additional training programs for service providers, including law enforcement officers, and to continue finding ways to get the word out about a crime that is equivalent to modern day slavery.
SAC Maley lauded McCay’s efforts: “President Kennedy once told the nation that one person can make a difference and every person should try. Ms. McCay is making that difference in her community. From almost the moment she heard about human trafficking, she began telling others about the problem. She personifies the true meaning of this award by seeing a need and making it her personal mission to address that need. Her efforts have considerably raised the level of awareness on the issue of human trafficking in North Alabama.”
The use of force, fraud, or coercion to induce a person to provide labor, services, or acts of prostitution is human trafficking. Individuals can report trafficking crimes and get help by calling the Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY). New laws provide options for trafficking victims regardless of immigration status. Operators have access to interpreters and can talk with callers in their own language. The service is offered on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. After hours, information is available on tape in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.
More information on human trafficking can be found on the FBI’s website: www.fbi.gov.