Human Trafficking in our Community

human-traffickingOn Saturday, October 29, the AWARENESS Conference will bring human trafficking experts to Dixon to share their knowledge with concerned local citizens, law enforcement, clergy, and other community leaders. The conference, hosted by Living Hope Church, is the brainchild of Pastor/Chaplain Phil Lockwood.

“I’d heard that human trafficking was a problem in our area, so I attended a conference earlier this year to learn more about it,” he said. He was shocked to learn that Sacramento is a national hotbed for human trafficking, and communities along the I-80 corridor between Sacramento and San Francisco are heavily affected.

“When I heard the heartbreaking stories of survivors who went to their pastors and priests and received no help whatsoever, I thought, ‘Not in Dixon. We can’t let that happen here.’” Lockwood’s desire to spread awareness of the reality of human trafficking in Dixon and surrounding areas is what birthed the AWARENESS Conference. But he is not alone in his mission.

The Dixon Police Department has partnered with Living Hope on this project from its inception, and Sgt. Brad Harms of the DPD will share his experiences of human trafficking arrests and rescues made in Dixon. The conference will include speakers from 3Strands Global, a non-profit network working to combat trafficking globally, as well as the Solano County District Attorney’s office, Solano County Child Welfare Services, and the non-profit Fight the New Drug.

The 3Strands Global “Break Free Education” program will be featured, which provides human trafficking awareness programs to schools, businesses, community and faith-based organizations across the U.S. to increase trafficking awareness and support prevention efforts.

Officer Jeremy Martinez of the San Jose Police Department will present a special breakout session for law enforcement, which satisfies Prop. 35 POST certification requirements.

Free tickets to the AWARENESS Conference are available online at, but seating is limited and reservations must be made in advance.

The primary sponsor of the AWARENESS Conference is the City of Dixon. Mayor Jack Batchelor, Vice Mayor Steve Bird, and City Manager Jim Lindley have voiced strong support for the event, and the Dixon City Council provided $4,000 in funding for the conference.

Starbucks Dixon has pledged free coffee and pastries for the conference, and Chick-Fil-A Vacaville will provide a catered lunch for all conference attenders. Other generous supporters include Rotary International of Dixon, Team Johnson (Century 21 M&M and Associates), Soroptimist International of Dixon, Dixon Action Team, Best Western Inn Dixon, United Methodist Women Fellowship, St. Peter’s Catholic Church, St. Peter’s YLI, Damsel in Defense, and the 10-33 Foundation.

For tickets or more information, please visit or contact Living Hope Church at 707-693-1512.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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