Rhode Island has created a new statewide protocol to help police, hospitals and community organizations respond to the sexual exploitation of children.
The guidelines include a screening tool for first responders who encounter teenagers or children who might be sexually exploited.
Peg Langhammer, executive director of nonprofit organization Day One, said Rhode Island is one of the first states to create a uniform statewide protocol that encourages coordination between agencies.
Langhammer was joined on Wednesday by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo, lawmakers, law enforcement leaders and representatives from Hasbro Children's Hospital and the state Department of Children, Youth and Families to announce the new protocol.
The guidelines were developed by a human trafficking task force that formed in 2013.