On Apr. 28, 2018, Thurston County is hosting its Race Against Trafficking 5k. The race was established by the Thurston County Coalition Against Trafficking in 2016.
“Our goal is to raise awareness of the sad truth that human trafficking is happening right here in Washington State,” said one of the race organizers, Rose Gundersen.
Some of the most notable trafficking-related arrests in the area occurred in 2016, when Tumwater police apprehended over 20 suspects in a sex-trafficking sting operation. Police also rescued four children during the sting.
According to a statement by the coalition, trafficking is a $150.2 billion industry. One-third of the illegal profits from trafficking come from forced labor exploitation. The other two-thirds come from sexual exploitation.
The goal of the 5k is to raise at $40,000 to operate the “Take On” program in Thurston County schools.
Officers from the Washington State Patrol and the Thurston County Sherriff’s Office will be present at the race in support of the Thurston County Coalition Against Trafficking.