Major efforts are underway in Charlotte to combat human trafficking. CMPD is now starting its first official task force to target the crime, and there's another plan to take training beyond law enforcement officers.
On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of North Carolina, along with other federal agencies, held a first-of-its-kind training for hotel and motel owners and operators.
The idea is to teach them the signs to watch out for in order to identify sex trafficking and report it.
U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose says Charlotte is a hotbed for the illegal activity, in part because of easy access to interstates, a major airport, and big sporting events.
Rose said, “That's one reason that we're having this training now, as spring approaches, not only with the Panthers playoff but other sporting events, it becomes convention season, and we want these hotel and motel workers to be educated about what to look for.”
Shannon Lane, Director of Human Resources with Sree Hotels, said, “I have three teenagers. I think what goes through my mind is how at risk young people are and how vulnerable they are and just want to make sure I protect my own kids, as well as other people’s children.”
Federal officials say Charlotte is number one in the state in reported human trafficking incidents, and North Carolina is number ten in the country in that same category.