NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Police has been chosen to participate in a special project designed to prevent and protect teens against human trafficking.

The program, TraffickSTOP, was developed by the Human Trafficking Task Force of the Office of the Attorney General designed to teach people, particularly adolescents, signs to observe and prevent human trafficking.

The program will run during the 2021–2022 school year. NNPD is one of only two jurisdictions in the state asked to participate in the pilot program.

NNPD will partner with the Attorney General’s Task Force and Newport News Public Schools which will assign a seasoned NNPD School Resource Officer to be trained on how best to educate students on the dangers of human trafficking and how to avoid being put into a situation of potential exploitation.

According to Anti-Trafficking International, the average age of exploitation is 12–15 years old in the U.S.

Read more from the announcement HERE.