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Sheriff’s Office, School District Fight Human Trafficking

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TAMPA, Fla. — With the Super Bowl in Tampa less than a month away, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough School District are teaming up to fight human trafficking.

They also worked together to create a new public service announcement aimed at children and young adults.


Meanwhile, with some crowds still expected to roll into Tampa for the game despite the pandemic, law enforcement said there will likely be an increase in human traffickers.

“With the influx of visitors, demand for commercial sex will increase,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

Florida already ranks third in the nation for having the most reported cases of human trafficking and officials said the children most targeted are between 12 and 14 years old.

Chronister said the two big concerns are that human traffickers will bring young people into the area to commit crimes. The other is that they’ll troll streets looking for victims.

 So the sheriff and School Superintendent Addison Davis appear together in a new PSA aimed at students.

 

 

Law enforcement and educators hope preventative measures like the PSA will cut down on human trafficking and keep the focus during the big game on the field.

“What that really does is allow us to teach and education our children about how to spot signs of human trafficking,” Davis said.

The PSA talks about traits, like sadness and isolation, that could make a child an easy target. It also lists things to look for in someone who’s possibly being victimized, like avoiding authority figures, missing school frequently, appearing tired and hanging out with older people.

“And that’s why this public service announcement is so important because an educator, a staff member or a fellow student can identify one of these signs and go talk to someone they trust and save a life,” Chronister said.

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