Stearns County Adding Trafficking Investigator
Stearns County is adding to 3rd full time investigator working with the Human Trafficking Task Force. Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall joined me on WJON today. In December the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force was awarded a $575,000 two-year grant from the Minnesota Office of Justice Programs. Kendall says this allows them to get to more of the public education piece. She says they are not only working on finding and arresting traffickers but are also working on victim recoveries.
Kendall says the online solicitation of kids is something they are looking to prevent. She says kids are more likely to become victims through online solicitation as opposed to young people being picked up at the mall. Kendall says a teen or even younger victim could fall victim to offers online and then meeting with this person somewhere. Kendall says they are doing a new video to get out to different groups the dangers and prevention tips for human trafficking.
Kendall says they have more then 50 felony convictions since April of 2018. She says another prevention is the updated massage parlor ordinances in St. Cloud, St. Joe and Sartell. Kendall says the community has really jumped on board with this and that is why they've been so successful.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Janelle Kendall it is available below.