FBI Names Houston Non-Profit Winner of Director’s Community Leadership Award
Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner announced United Against Human Trafficking (UAHT) as the recipient of the 2014 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award at a reception held at the FBI Houston Field Office earlier today. Formerly known as Houston Rescue and Restore, the UAHT’s mission is to prevent and confront human trafficking by educating the public, training professionals, and empowering the community to take action for the purpose of identifying and rescuing trafficking victims.
This special award, presented on behalf of the Director of the FBI, was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence in America. For almost 10 years, the UAHT, has been a non-governmental organization member of the Houston Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA), which is a federally funded law enforcement working group servicing the greater Houston area.
The UAHT has proven invaluable to the HTRA primarily by providing training to civic and professional organizations. The UAHT has trained over 26,000 individuals in the Houston area about the issue of human trafficking, including professionals such as child protective services, health care professionals, and others who can play a key role in identifying potential victims of this crime.
SAC Perrye Turner advised 2014 is a particularly appropriate year to recognize the UAHT’s many years of service. In June, the UAHT joined with Houston-area law enforcement, Clear Channel Outdoor, Crime Stoppers of Houston, and others to launch a statewide human trafficking awareness campaign. The campaign utilized multi-lingual billboards, taxi cab signs, airport shuttle signs, and mall signage to deepen the community’s understanding of the issue, inform the community that anyone can be victim of human trafficking, and encourage reporting to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, 1-888-3737-888. Houston currently leads the nation in incoming tips about potential human trafficking.
SAC Turner presented a certificate to David Quan, currently the interim Executive Director of UAHT. In the spring, a representative of the UAHT will travel to Washington, D.C., along with recipients from other FBI field offices, to be presented the prestigious award from FBI Director James B. Comey at FBI Headquarters.