Homeland Security awards $3.4m in outreach contracts

WASHINGTON: The Department of Homeland Security has awarded two contracts worth $3.4 million in total to promote two outreach initiatives.

WASHINGTON: The Department of Homeland Security has awarded two contracts worth $3.4 million in total to promote two outreach initiatives.

US Customs and Border Protection retained DC-based Hispanic communications firm Elevation Ltd. for a contract worth just less than $1 million that runs through next April.

The scope of work includes public outreach, advertising, and marketing services for the two-year-old Blue Campaign, said Michael Friel, media division director at US Customs and Border Protection, via email. The contract also calls for the creation of international, national, and grassroots materials to support education and outreach about human trafficking, he said.

The initiative takes on human trafficking through public outreach both domestically and internationally. The outreach will help to identify victims of trafficking by raising general awareness and encouraging the public to report suspected instances, according to DHS.

The initiative could also raise awareness among potential trafficking victims seeking employment or other opportunities in the US “who may fall prey to the lures of human traffickers,” according to the DHS.

Records show that Elevation Ltd. has worked on the effort since 2010. A representative from the agency did not return a call for comment.

On the firm's Facebook page, the agency said it is “excited and extremely passionate about this project, and the important message it conveys against human trafficking.”

In a separate award notice, DHS gave communications firm Lempugh a $2.4 million contract to work on the “See Something, Say Something” campaign. However, it was unclear from the award notice what the firm will do. Representatives from both Lempugh and the federal agency did not return a request for comment.

In August, Jeff Carter left his post as chief of public affairs at the US Marshals Service to join DHS as director of communications for the undersecretary of management.

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