In October of 2020, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was awarded a $2 million grant by the United States Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime to fund a collaborative project through the DA’s Office’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Watch program.  

The award by OVC as part of their Services for Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking grant program was one of only four awarded in the country. The Alameda County DA’s office will partner with 20 agencies to expand and strengthen assistance programs for sexually exploited minors, with objectives of achieving increased safety, self-sufficiency, well-being, and independence. 

The funding will connect minors with emergency services within the first 24 hours of engagement, provide them with long-term residential care, and provide ongoing coordinated case management and other needed services. Additionally, the DA’s Office will focus on preventing the sexual exploitation of minors through training, outreach, education, and treatment of purchasers. 

H.E.A.T. Watch is a nationally recognized, award-winning program created to combat human trafficking on a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and regional basis. This program seeks to prevent and combat human trafficking in all of its forms with a five-point strategy designed to support victims and those at-risk; engage community members and raise awareness; train law enforcement and other first responders; prosecute traffickers and purchasers, and change legislative policy and identify best practices.
The Alameda County DA Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Unit hosted a training session Thursday, bringing together nearly one hundred local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to discuss strategies for investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases without a victim. Sharmin Bock, the head of the H.E.A.T. Unit, moderated the Zoom training on behalf of DA O’Malley, and the training was presented by Orange County Deputy District Attorney Juliet Oliver.

The training focused on innovative techniques to successfully prosecute traffickers even when victims disengage, and best practices for investigatory techniques, use of technology in evidence gathering, and prosecutorial strategies when victims are absent. The training also emphasized the benefits of collaboration across county and agency lines and between investigators, prosecutors, and victim-witness advocates.

Need help? If you or someone you know is being trafficked, you are not alone. If this is an emergency, call 911.

If you would like to make an anonymous report, call the HEAT Watch Tip Line: (510) 208-4959.

For more information on the District Attorney's H.E.A.T. Watch Unit visit:
On December 29, 2020, the IRS announced that it will begin issuing the second round of Coronavirus-related economic impact payments. Please keep these tips in mind to avoid payment scams:

·      The IRS will not contact you about payments. If you receive an unsolicited phone call, text message, email, or social media message regarding payments or from someone claiming to represent the IRS or U.S. Treasury, do not respond or click on provided links. These are likely phishing attempts designed to steal your personal data.

·      There is no fee to receive or expedite your payment. Offers to process or expedite payments for a fee are scams.

·      The IRS calls the "economic impact payment" by its official name, but scammers might use phrases like "stimulus check or "stimulus payment" instead. Scammers may send taxpayers bogus checks, possibly in odd dollar amounts, with instructions to provide information via phone or online in order to cash it. Do not respond – the IRS will not require you to provide information prior to receiving your payment.
Alameda County Family Justice Center
(510) 267-8800
470 27th St. Oakland
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