Hotel Staff Trained on Human Trafficking [AUDIO]
Dozens of hotel staff members were trained by the state this week on how to identify victims and indicators of human trafficking, a crime that's expected to go into overdrive when New Jersey hosts Super Bowl XLVIII.
The trainees were just a tiny fraction of the more than 3,000 people already trained by the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force.
Hotels and motels are obvious hot spots for traffickers looking to conduct their illegal business, Assistant Attorney General Tracy M. Thompson told Townsquare Media.
"We know that the primary purpose of the hotel and hotel staff is to make it a comfortable, safe environment, but as law enforcement officials, we're trying to contribute to that safe environment by not having them disrupted by traffickers and the type of activity and people that may attract," said Thompson, who described human trafficking as modern day slavery.
From housekeeping to managerial staff, hotel employees were told to stay alert and be on the lookout for certain signs among guests -- a large disparity in age, groups who don't look like families, and people who speak on behalf of others.
"A lot of times, the human trafficking victims are timid. They may seem shy, not willing to talk, upset," Thompson said.
The state has also offered similar training to taxicab drivers, airport security, nurses, banks and managers of truck stops.
Thompson said trafficking becomes a concern during any major sporting event that would draw large amounts of people with lots of money to spend.