TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Authorities in New Jersey are discussing strategies to fight prostitution during the week of the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
The New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force hosted a symposium Tuesday to devise an anti-trafficking strategy ahead of the Super Bowl and other major events in the state.
Such events increase the demand for commercial sex trafficking due to an influx of people coming to the event, authorities said.
“Any time there’s a large entertainment spectacle it’s possible that it could bring in a lot of people from out of the state — it could perhaps increase the risk of prostitution,” acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said. “We want to make sure that we’re focusing on it.”
Hoffman said they’re preparing for a major crackdown on sex trafficking as well.
“This is nothing approaching a victimless crime. Many of the victims of human trafficking are women, they are children,” said Hoffman “Between New York and Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington, there’s certainly a lot of traffic through the state and so I think that that probably compounds some of the human trafficking issues.”
Police and prosecutors from New Orleans and Indiana who led human trafficking crackdowns during Super Bowls held in those cities are advising New Jersey officials to start getting ready.
“They’ll be coming to New Jersey when the Super Bowl is here at the Meadowlands, no doubt — we saw it in New Orleans,” said Louisiana State Police Sgt. Chad Gremillion. “These traffickers think that they can make their money. It’s that target rich environment that they’re going to jump into and they’re going to try to grab it.”
“The community is going to play a huge role in identifying where some of these activities are taking place,” said Hoffman.
Plans include monitoring online sex ads and training civilians like cab drivers and motel clerks to be on the lookout for possible prostitution.
The symposium focused on methods for tracking online sex ads; training people to recognize indicators of human trafficking and providing victims with shelter and counseling.
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