Desoto County News

Award in fight against human trafficking to Sheriff’s division

Photo: DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco and MSCVP Executive Director Sandy Middleton (Bob Bakken/

Appropriate for National Human Trafficking Day, a group that has done an extraordinary job to work for the victims of human trafficking was honored for their work.

The Pearl-based Center for Violence Prevention has annually presented what it calls the Angel Award since 2011 to a person or group who has gone above and beyond to fight human trafficking. This year, the Center presented the award to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department Special Investigations Division (SID). 

Executive Director Sandy Middleton said the SID has 12 certified investigators and has helped 13 adult victims since August of last year.  The unit also works with local, state, and federal agencies to help find and recover adult and minor victims throughout the state.  Middleton said the problem with human trafficking is real. 

“It’s here and it’s everywhere,” Middleton said. “Sex trafficking and labor traffickers are preying on our children and the vulnerable in our communities. The bad news for these offenders is that law enforcement is on to them.”  

Middleton says the SID “is a shining star in the effort” against sex and human trafficking.  

“Our Special Investigations Division has worked tirelessly and diligently to prevent human trafficking and protect victims,” said Sheriff Bill Rasco. “The work we do has a lifelong effect on victims and all of us at the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department are passionate about supporting these victims and bringing predators to justice.”

You can learn more about the Center for Violence Prevention at its website.  

Middleton later spoke more with reporters about the recognition.  

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