Local deputy honored for dedication to fighting human trafficking

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A McLennan County Sheriff's deputy is being recognized for his dedication to fighting human trafficking in Texas.

(Photo courtesy of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office)

The Austin 20, a group supporting organizations that help child trafficking victims, presented Det. Joseph Scaramucci with the "Front Line Award" Wednesday for leading the state in combating human trafficking for law enforcement.

"The support of my administration and the strength of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition is having an impact, not only in Central Texas, but throughout the state," Scaramucci told KWTX.

Scaramucci was the keynote speaker at the fundraising luncheon at the Austin Country Club.

Within one hour, the event raised more than $300,000.

The money will go toward a transitional safe-house for youth trafficking victims where they can stay for up to 90 days.

"I was very honored to be a part of this wonderful cause to support victims of domestic minor sex trafficking through The Austin 20," said Scaramucci.

In a show of pride, Sheriff Parnell McNamara, Chief Deputy David Kilcrease, and Captain Steve January made the trip.

"We're so proud of Joe, he's received statewide and national recognition for his efforts in fighting human trafficking, and he has trained many officers from other counties and states to join the fight," said Sheriff McNamara. "I would call him simply 'the best of the best.'"

Governor Greg Abbott was also in attendance, with his wife Cecilia being the guest of honor.

"It's an incredible, combined effort of law enforcement and community coming together to fight this worldwide scourge of human trafficking, and we're just so proud to be a part of it," said McNamara.