Over half a million children go missing in the US each year and are believed to be commercially sexually exploited. Sex trafficking is the fastest growing business of organized crime in the world because it is hidden.The victims are too young and too scared to testify against violent criminals. We believe that a public-private partnership between local communities and law enforcement is the only way to solve this hidden crime.By creating a network of safe homes, schools, private investigators, computer crime analysts and law enforcement, we can rescue and save these children. If we can stop sex trafficking in the Bay Area, we can stop it across the United States.
WE BELIEVE IN
THE BAY AREA.
WE BELIEVE THAT ITS SUCCESS DEPENDS ON KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE,
THAT EVERY CHILD HAS VALUE,
THAT WE MUST PROACTIVELY LOOK FOR RUNAWAY AND MISSING CHILDREN,
THAT RIDDING OUR COMMUNITY OF SEX TRAFFICKERS IS IMPERATIVE,
THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE BAY AREA NEEDS OUR HELP,
THAT A SAFE BAY AREA IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY.
Steve Wagstaffe grew up in Menlo Park and is a lifelong resident of San Mateo County. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in 1974 and his Law Degree at the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1977.
Steve was hired as a Deputy District Attorney in 1977 and has been with the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office for over 40 years. He was promoted to Assistant District Attorney in 1986. In 1991, he was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney and served in this role for 19 years. In 2010, he was elected San Mateo County District Attorney and took office in January, 2011. Steve is the immediate past president of the California District Attorneys Association and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.
Sharmin Bock is a 30 year veteran prosecutor, and a nationally recognized expert in human trafficking, with a long and successful track record for rescuing commercially sexually exploited children and holding traffickers accountable.
In 2005, Bock helped create the first of its kind in the country Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, dedicated to prosecuting traffickers and rescuing victims.
Bock currently serves as HEAT Unit Team Leader, and oversees the HEAT Response for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. In April 2008, the Oakland Tribune characterized Bock as an “arsenal of compassion,” who is “leading a statewide charge to spare teenage prostitutes and jail their pimps.”
Bock was recognized for her achievement as the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Fay Stender Award, given by the California Women Lawyers, to the woman attorney in the State of California “who has demonstrated her commitment to under-represented or disadvantaged people…serves as a role model for women attorneys and has demonstrated the ability to affect change, using her zest, humanity, personal courage, and forceful presence to serve others.” In March 2010, the California State Legislature honored Bock as Woman of the Year.
Bock has educated and influenced state and federal law enforcement, advocates, policy makers, and funders, across the country, about the crime and impact of child sex trafficking. Legislators in Georgia and Hawaii, as well as in the United States House of Representatives and Senate, have invited Bock to testify to help improve laws nationwide. Most recently, and with far reaching consequence, Bock co-authored Proposition 35, an initiative on California’s November 2012 Ballot, which passed by a landslide margin and gave California the toughest anti-human trafficking law in the country.
Scott Vermeer is an experienced law enforcement officer and public safety executive. His investigative expertise includes crimes against children including recognition for cases including juvenile victims of homicides, kidnapping for ransom and sexual assault and exploitation.
He served as the Police Chief in Menlo Park, CA and later as the Police Chief and Assistant City Manager for Public Safety for the City of Mountain View, CA. The Director of the FBI has recognized him for his work in combatting international terrorism and Scott is also the recipient of the United States Secret Service Director’s Honor Award. He has been deeply committed to issues related to children at risk for many years.
He was the President of the Mountain View Police Activities League. He was awarded the John W. Gardner Building Community award by the Los Altos Community Foundation and the Champion for Youth award by the Mountain View/Los Altos Challenge Team. He and his wife served as an emergency foster care family for the County of Santa Clara. He holds both a bachelors and masters degree from Saint Mary’s College of California and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Ms. Rick is an Associate in the Palo Alto law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, where her practice focuses on corporate and securities transactions with particular emphasis on technology companies. In addition, Ms. Rick advices pro bono clients on corporate governance matters and compliance.
She holds a J.D. from Boston University and a B.A. degree in Political Science and Psychology from Calvin College. Ms. Rick helps SOS with its corporate filings, contract negotiation and governance matters on a pro bono basis. As a Board member, Ms. Rick is involved in fundraising and communications efforts for SOS.