How does your work to fight human trafficking influence your job with the Chicago PD?
In the Chicago Police Department, our training in this matter is non-existent. I do get a lot of officers who know about what I do on-and-off the job, and they come and ask me about it. They say, "I think I might've come acorss something, but I'm not sure. I don't know this. I don't know that." I take it upon myself to say -- look, if you need help, let me know. I'll come and talk to you. I'll give you information that you need to figure out the signs. A lot of the times, calls will come in: domestic incident, battery, etc. It easily could've been a human trafficking incident.
I partnered with an organization called Traffick Free. We're just trying to bring awareness to the city. I've taken it a little more personally. I grew up in Pilsen. So, I conduct informal forums to educate the community. I walked business-to-business, asking if I could post PSAs about the issue. In just speaking with the community -- they're so shocked! They couldn't believe this was going on in Chicago -- in our high schools and to our girls. It saddened me. Unless we have awareness, we can't educate.
How do you manage your volunteer work, your career as a police officer, and your life as a single mom?
It's time management! I'm very blessed. My daughter is 14-year-old, and she's very independent. She's very self-sufficient. I see some moms, and I realize that I wouldn't be able to do half the stuff I can now if I had little ones.
I also have a great support system. My mom is always willing to give me a helping hand. She rolls out with me. I never lack the support.
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