Conference To Focus On Local Fight Against Human Trafficking

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Spearheading local efforts in the fight against human trafficking, Oakland County, partnered with the Missing and Exploited Children Organization, next Monday will host a conference to present new findings on the ever-rising industry.

Oakland County Commissioner Janet Jackson said her county is not immune to the problem human trafficking; and in a nationwide sting conducted last August, the national task force found that a majority of arrests in Michigan came in Oakland County.

“In Southfield, there were quite a few hotels where arrests had been made within the city,” Jackson said.

“We should always just be very diligent in the young people that we come across or any situation where we might see personally that we can intervene in,” Jackson urged. “There are always some ways to intervene, like tip lines. Just don’t hesitate to intervene because this is a problem that we all can address.”

At Monday’s meting, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Diversity Outreach Coordinator for the External Affairs Division, Russell Petty, will make a presentation regarding the CASE Campaign and the NetSmartz, internet safety initiative.

He will share resources and information about the industry of human trafficking, specifically in the Southfield and Metro Detroit areas.

Oakland County officials said that the goal of the effort will be to create a study group that will lead to the formation of a special task force that will establish a comprehensive nationwide campaign around the issue of human trafficking. The event is not open to the public, open only to stakeholders who will serve as members of the county-wide study group and task force.

“Due to the most arrests during the recent nationwide sweep, with Detroit ranking second in the country, and Southfield and Madison Heights having the highest arrests,” Jackson stated in the press release. “There needs to be a multi-agency initiative coordinated to address this growing problem in our county.”

The event will be held on Monday, Oct. 28, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Southfield Field Zone inside of the Southfield Municipal Complex.

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