Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Adult and Lifelong Learning (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Kit Kacirek

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

Kenda S. Grover


law enforcement, victim support, training


Researchers have found that sex trafficking in the 21st century is a growing human rights atrocity. This qualitative case study investigates law enforcement professionals’ perceived needs as first responders to identify and support sex trafficking victims. Specifically, this study examines resources, training, and support that they perceive to be critical to their success. The primary research question that guides this study is what do first responders need to identify and support sex trafficking victims? To answer this question, the following sub-questions facilitate the inquiry: A) What resources do law enforcement professionals need to identify and support victims of sex trafficking? B) What do first responders need to navigate the emotional challenges of their jobs? This study will use purposeful sampling to select ten law enforcement officers that have at least three years of experience working with sex trafficking within the five boroughs of New York. The primary data collection method will be semi-structured interviews; interview questions were formulated in alignment with the study’s purpose and research questions. After collection, the data will be coded and organized observing the research questions. Analysis and interpretation will be organized based on the conceptual framework.