Task Force Models

Some taskforces may be co-led by senior representatives from multiple agencies, such as the U.S. Attorney's Office, the local police department, and a victim service agency, with additional core team members from FBI, HSI, the local legal aid bureau, and a workers' rights advocacy and services organization. Task force members should have equal responsibility, even if leadership responsibilities are delegated to one group over another. This sends the message to the larger task force membership, community partners, and potential funders that this issue involves mutual respect and trust in the division of leadership and responsibility between law enforcement and victim service providers, as well as equal investment in the task force and equal responsibility in its operations and outcomes.

The Bifurcated Team Model: includes two teams under the task force umbrella. This bifurcated model allows task forces with a high proportion of specialized members to expand their focus, engage all members, and utilize resources more effectively. Service providers are then directed to the relevant team. This also helps to keep your law enforcement partners engaged. Issues that are relevant to both teams are shared by the task force leader. For example, one team focuses on investigating and assisting foreign national victims. The other team focuses on investigating and assisting U.S. citizen victims.

The Single Leader Model: The leader could be a federal or local law enforcement agency, prosecutor, USAO, or a victim service provider. Oftentimes, leadership responsibilities rest on an individual who is responsible for both conducting services and leading the task force, a situation that makes it difficult to find time to accomplish both objectives. Typically, these task forces bring together all members to discuss coordination of ongoing cases and cooperate to provide training to groups outside of the task force. They may be a relatively small group so that additional committees are not required. In this model, task forces often assign or hire part-time or full-time project managers to support information sharing, schedule trainings, convene meetings and provide meeting minutes, and manage the grant. Some task forces hire outside consultants to generate state and local law enforcement agency commitment on human trafficking and help bridge the gap between law enforcement and service providers

A typical single leader task force model is depicted below.

Single Leader Model

The Intelligence Task Force Model

The intelligence task force model is a law enforcement structure that includes only the investigative and prosecutorial functions. The task force leader calls upon a service provider whenever it has a case that requires services for victims. Although it has advantages of more focused meetings and fewer risks of case or client confidentiality breaches, this model is not as effective in building partnerships and trust between law enforcement and service providers. In lieu of attending task force meetings, service providers will establish their own meetings to coordinate services and discuss issues that are pertinent to service provision, outreach, and training.

A typical intelligence task force model is depicted below.

Intelligence Task Force Model

The Core team model is a task force structure in which, typically, law enforcement, service providers, and a prosecutor comprise the core team that guides other members. Members of the core team assess results, stay aligned with the mission, and have the authority to commit the organization and themselves to a long-term relationship with the task force. A reasonable size for a core team is generally five to seven participants.

Depending on the mission and purpose of the task force, the core team may include representatives from the following professions:

  • State or federal court systems
  • Defense attorneys
  • Local, regional, or state law enforcement
  • Victim service providers, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), social service agencies, and/or legal service agencies already working with victims of trafficking
  • Prosecutors (U.S. Attorney's Office, state and/or district prosecutor's office)
  • Federal law enforcement (FBI, ICE, Homeland Security Investigations)
  • Child welfare or child protection agencies
  • Juvenile justice and diversion programs
  • Social service agency, legal service agency, and/or NGO working with runaway and homeless youth or at-risk youth
  • Social service agency, legal service agency, and/or NGO working with domestic violence or sexual assault victims
  • Social service agency, legal service agency, and/or NGO working with immigrants

A typical core team task force model is depicted below.

Core Team Model

For additional information and tools, visit the Resource page for Section 2.1: Forming a Task Force