A 14-year-old girl and the ‘ongoing battle’ with sex trafficking
LANSING – Someone in Greater Lansing is probably being trafficked right now, police say.
I happened upon this recent news story and was shocked to see that it highlighted a sex trafficking case that started in my hometown. Mason is a non remarkable, small town located near Lansing. It is a family friendly, good school district, nice looking kind of place. I guess the sad reality is that no place is safe from this kind of crime.
A significant aspect of the article is that it highlights how frequent this type of crime has become. For the last year or so we have been engaged in improving the knowledge of police officers so that they are quicker to recognize a crime in progress and recover a victim. Because it happens everywhere police need to be alert to the signs and signals of sex or labor trafficking. The article gives some shocking facts about how frequently this crime is being reported in Michigan. You will note that the case numbers are going up over the past 5 years because of better reporting and investigation.
You should be alert to the signs of this crime too and report suspicious things to your local police using 911. Give us a chance to investigate. You could be saving a trafficking victim.
Many of these cases of young girls start with contact with a stranger on the internet. Here are some resources to help you learn more about keeping children safe: