A Bay Area congresswoman is working with local police to train hotel managers how to recognize and thwart human trafficking related to prostitution.
Rep. Jackie Speier will join with the Burlingame and South San Francisco police departments in hosting a training session tomorrow, Friday, April 19, at the Hilton San Francisco Bayfront in Burlingame.
“Hotels and motels are an essential component in the vicious network of human trafficking,” Speier, D-San Mateo, said in a news release. “The people working in hotels can help prevent sex trafficking if they know how to recognize signs that are not always obvious and contact the authorities when they do. For example, in a recent case on the Peninsula, a hotel worker contacted the police after noting that the same individual had rented two hotel rooms for four different young women two days in a row. Not only were the victims rescued, but their traffickers are facing lengthy sentences and fine.”
Managers at the training will hear from public officials and experts about the severity of human trafficking in the area, learn how to recognize victims and how to interfere. Speakers will include Burlingame Mayor Ann Keighran, Burlingame Police Chief Ed Wood, South San Francisco Police Sergeant Billy Schwartz and representatives from the Burlingame Hotel Manager’s Safety Association.
Speier’s office says sex trafficking is considered the third-largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world; it is estimated 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders, and an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 domestic minors are forced into sex work every year in the United States.
This will be the third hotel training Speier and law enforcement have held since she helped launch the Zero Tolerance Anti-Trafficking Initiative in San Mateo County.