Rockmart Demand an End Training

From left: Rockmart Fire Chief Todd Queen, Polk County Chief of Police Kenny Dodd, Rockmart City Councilman Rick Stone, Street Grace VP of Policy Camila Zolfaghari, City Manager Jeff L. Ellis, Rockmart Chief of Police Randy Turner, Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats, and Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome

The City of Rockmart is now one of several communities around the state and country who have a Demand an End certification from an organization seeking to bring an end to all human trafficking.

The certification issued by Street Grace, a faith-based organization that collaborates with business and community leaders to help bring an end to the exploitation of minors in all forms.

On August 2, the organization brought their training class to Rockmart to train bus drivers, city employees and law enforcement from around the area on how to spot and combat human trafficking, especially of minors.

Street Grace’s VP of Policy, Camila Zolfaghari, who was formerly the first special prosecutor dedicated to prosecuting human trafficking for the Georgia Attorney General, provided the training for the city.

City Manager Jeff Ellis and Council member Rick Stone helped organize the training effort for Rockmart and the surrounding communities.

“It was an honor and privilege to work with Councilman Stone and the city manager to bring this training to Rockmart,” said Zolfaghari. “Traffickers who want to exploit children utilize social media and the internet to try to lure victims from all over Georgia. Now those who interact with our children on a daily basis, know what to look for and how to respond.”

A special law enforcement only training concluded the day of training and was attended by officers from all over the area as well as the Rockmart Fire Chief Todd Queen, Polk County Chief of Police Kenny Dodd, Rockmart City Councilman Rick Stone, City Manager Jeff L. Ellis, Rockmart Chief of Police Randy Turner, Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats, and Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome, according to a release from Street Grace.

Ellis said the information they learned would be put to good use.

“In all of my years of going to GMA meetings, this has been one of the most important topics that I’ve seen covered and we can benefit greatly from the information that we’ve learned, and will work toward bringing an end to the suffering caused by human trafficking in our community,” Ellis said.

Zolfaghari added in the release that she was glad to see participants from all across Polk County take part.

“It makes a huge difference to the people of the community when city and county leaders show their dedication to protecting the community by prioritizing training that protects children rather than merely talking about their dedication. It has been an honor to work with Councilman Stone and City Manager Jeff Ellis to organize this training,” said Zolfaghari.

The Demand an End training is a program created by Street Grace to equip cities and counties to protect children from human trafficking.

Councilman Stone and City Manager Jeff Ellis learned about the program and the importance of training at the Georgia Municipal Association Conference this year while attending a panel on human trafficking with Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp, GBI Director Vic Reynolds, and Street Grace’s VP of Policy Camila of Zolfaghari.

For more information about protecting children from human trafficking and the trainings available, contact Zolfaghari at camila@streetgrace.org.

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