A member of the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey (PAPNYNJ) force for 18 years, Sergeant Hector Martinez was assigned five years ago to the Youth Services unit responsible for investigating and recovering missing and exploited children at Port Authority. Officer Jack Collins has been on the PAPNYNJ force for 17 years, and has been attached to the Youth Services investigatory unit since 2004. They have found in their work that one recovered child often provides a link to ten or more other children being trafficked by the same exploiter. Many federal investigations have been instigated by the kids they recover. In New York’s Port Authority bus terminal, they’ve uncovered trafficking networks operating out of New York and New Jersey, as well as networks extending across the nation.
“The kids we recover are often viewed as throwaways. They’re ignored because they look homeless, or like junkies or prostitutes. No matter what, they’re still children. The bad guys always depend—too often successfully—on society’s indifference.”