The Honorable Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade County State Attorney, delivered the Keynote Address entitled From Discovering the Myths to Exposing the Realities of Human Trafficking at the annual Summer Human Trafficking Academy. Over one hundred social service providers, state and federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, health care providers, child protection investigators, faith-based organizations, and community members attended the event as part of the certification program on human trafficking. Numerous other participants attended via livestream video of the event.
State Attorney Rundle discussed the state of human trafficking in South Florida, digging deep into the efforts made to expose the realities of human trafficking and address issues with high efficiency. The State Attorney has led the Human Trafficking Unit through an innovative, trauma-informed law enforcement model for the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. This Unit, one the best in the country, encompasses highly trained and specialized prosecutors, investigators and victim specialists. Since its inception, this groundbreaking Human Trafficking Unit has filed hundreds of cases and worked with hundreds of victims of human trafficking. 
The Human Trafficking Academy has cooperated with the State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit since the latter’s inception in 2012, and was honored to continue its longstanding relationship at this event. “The Academy has an outstanding record in training and educating the public and private sector with cutting-edge knowledge and skills to combat human trafficking. It is the pioneer academic institution in South Florida to contribute in this field. The Academy’s annual fifteen-course immersion-style training has been its flagship, and I am delighted that several of my Assistant State Attorneys have been actively involved with it over many years, and they are constantly impressed with the quality and substance of the courses. This training is an invaluable tool for state and federal law enforcement, investigators, prosecutors, judges, and various non-legal professionals,” stated The Honorable Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a letter to the Academy. State Attorney Rundle also took the time to meet with several law and nursing students at St. Thomas University. She commended them on attending the Summer Academy and their efforts to learn about the crime of human trafficking and encouraged them to apply these principles in their respective careers going forward.
In welcoming the State Attorney to St. Thomas Law School, Associate Dean, Cece Dykas, highlighted the support that the State Attorney has always granted to St. Thomas law graduates, with several of them having joined the Miami Dade SAO as Assistant State Attorneys.
The event concluded with Dr. Roza Pati, Founder and Director of the Academy, recognizing State Attorney Rundle as an exceptional public servant and thanking her for her “unmatched contribution, genuine dedication and leadership in combating modern day slavery.”
To learn more about the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit visit: www.miamisao.com/services/human-trafficking.