Operation Cross Country: 'Our Primary Goal is to Recover Children'

As part of Operation Cross Country XI, FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers and Victim Specialist Anne Darr describe the primary role of the FBI's national multi-agency initiative—to recover children who are being trafficked.

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Radio chatter: I’m going to try to get her to meet me in the lot to get her away from the unit.

Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge, FBI Denver: When we talk about Operation Cross Country, or these types of operations that we run, the primary goal is really the recovery of children. And so we definitely want to arrest those who have exploited children. But our primary goal is really to recover children. And then not only from a recovery standpoint, but providing them victim services to get them back home or back integrated into society.

Anne Darr, victim specialist, FBI Denver: So, part of the victim specialist approach is being on scene with the agents and task force officers making sure that we have that one-on-one contact with these victims. So, part of my responsibility is making sure that I first and foremost provide really good crisis intervention, that we’re providing needs assessments, that kind of doing psychosocial assessments trying to figure out what their background is. Are they runaways? Have they been in the system in foster care? Do they have any kind of juvenile delinquency history? What does their parent life look like? Do they have any support? Have they been in school? What does that piece look like and how can we provide some good support for them to keep them out of the life and so that way they don't go back to that?

Jennifer Gosko, victim specialist, 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Colorado: You’re okay, alright? You’re not in trouble.

Darr: And it’s not just the Operation Cross Country. We work 365 on a daily basis recovering these high-risk kids and kids who have been involved in sex trafficking. And so on a daily basis we’re working as a multi-disciplinary team just making sure that we’re giving these cases the best care that we can.

Shivers: The moment that you recover that victim, the moment that you get that victim started into social services and maybe identifying some of those needs that that victim had because the victim had been separated from their family for a number of years—they may be homeless—and so when you recover that victim that starts the process of getting that person back on track. And so for me and for the men and women who work this violation, again, very gratifying, because we’re having an immediate impact. But what I understand and what the men and women that work this violation understand is that there are many more victims that we need to reach.

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