This past Tuesday, The Minnesota Lodging Association, Hennepin County, and the city organised a sex trafficking educational session, in Minneapolis. This was the first time that this type of training took place in Hennepin County.
After a hotel employee in Roseville tipped off police about a sex trafficker at their hotel, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi held a similar event. The sex trafficker received a prison sentence of 21-years.
The training focused on how to spot a sex trafficker and what course of action to take when reporting it. The employees were told to look out for quests who refuse housekeeping, pay in cash, stays for short periods of time, or guests that don't bring luggage. "Hotel employees are experts at what happens in hotels," said Minneapolis Police Sgt. Grant Snyder, as he spoke to the attendees.
Minneapolis Police Sgt. Greg Reinhardt explained to the group that it has become very easy to arrange a juvenile for sex. Officials are pointing the finger at the notorious site www.backpage.com.
Organizers also explained how hotel staff can report sex trafficking to authorities and build up a strong line of communication. Some of the hotel employees are recent immigrants and don't trust law enforcement officials. But, with such a wide spread problem barriers are being broken and new friendships are being made. Minneapolis arrested 19 people last year involved with the trafficking of juveniles, said Reinhardt.