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  • February 18, 2020 - Pittsburgh: The Commission released a public statement condemning the racially-derogatory remarks Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark V. Tranquilli allegedly made to the prosecutor and defense attorney following an acquittal of an African-American defendant in a criminal drug prosecution. He berated the prosecutor for not striking from the jury a young African-American woman, whom her referred to as “Aunt Jemima”, and stated that after completion of her jury service, she would return home to her “baby daddy” who is “probably slinging heroin too.” The full public statement may be found here.
  • February 18, 2020 - Pittsburgh: Executive Director McCormick received the Susan B. Anthony Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania.

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  • March 19, 2020 - Harrisburg: The Commission will hold its next Quarterly Meeting.

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The Interbranch Commission implements recommendations from the Report of The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial, and Gender Bias in The Justice System. View the Report

Southwest PA Trafficking Conference

Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking of Children: A Victim-Centered Approach

Monday, October 17, 2011

Presenters: Sergeant Byron Fassett | Detective Catherine De La Paz

Detective Catherine De La Paz
Dallas Police Department
Child Exploitation Squad

Detective De La Paz graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice before joining the Dallas Police Department.  She is a 23-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, assigned to the High Risk Victims and Trafficking Unit within the Child Exploitation Squad.

During her career, Detective De La Paz has worked as a patrol officer and as a detective in the Narcotics and Internal Affairs Divisions.

Detective De La Paz is now the lead detective of the High Risk Victims and Trafficking Unit or HRVT unit, which specializes in investigations involving the sexual abuse and exploitation of high-risk/chronic runaways, the victimization of children through prostitution and cases involving children who have had repeated reports of victimization. Additionally the HRVT team proactively identifies cases with children who have repeat/multiple runaways in order to identify current or past victimization.

Detective De La Paz specializes in conducting interviews of adolescent children and non-compliant victims who may be deceptive, avoidant and/or tentative in their disclosures. Because of this specialty, Detective De La Paz is often called upon to assist and consult on these interviews and cases, both locally and nationally.  Additionally, Detective De La Paz instructs on the unique interview skills and investigative techniques needed on cases involving children who have been victimized through prostitution.

Detective De La Paz has instructed for the Dallas Police Department Academy, the Tarrant County Regional Police Academy (Fatal Child Abuse and Neglect Program), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and for various other agencies and conferences throughout the country. Detective De La Paz has also trained internationally regarding high risk youth/ prostitution interviews and investigations for law enforcement, prosecutors and NGOs from Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, China, Myanmar, and Singapore.

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