Northern Colorado is a beautiful place to live, but unfortunately, human trafficking does occur in our community.

Thankfully, Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) are working to stop it.

In honor of Human Trafficking Awareness Month (January), they shed some light on exactly what this means on their Facebook page.

"There's a common misconception that human trafficking looks like Hollywood's depiction of women smuggled in shipping containers from other countries," said Detective Laura Knudsen. "...our reality typically involves at-risk individuals like runaways, domestic violence victims, and women in survival mode."

Their methods are broken into two groups:

Enforcement

  • FCPS strives to reduce prostitution, illegal drugs, and violent crimes in Fort Collins, as all three are often connected to human trafficking.
  • Investigators are targeting suspects who patronize prostitutes.
    • 21 men were charged with Soliciting a Prostitute/Attempt to Patronize a Prostitute in 2019.
    • Three massage parlors were investigated for illegally selling sexual services in 2019.
  • FCPS partners with organizations that help prostituted women, like Free Our Girls, when conducting these investigations.

Education & Partnerships

  • FCPS provides regular training to help staff identify signs of human trafficking and prostitution.
    • This education will soon be expanded to serve the homeless population, who tend to be more at-risk.
  • They partner with a therapist for the First Offender Restoration Program, which educates men charged with soliciting sexual services.
  • FCPS will participate in the educational Northern Colorado Human Trafficking Symposium on February 6, 2020. The conference is open to the public.

As for the general public, it is important for everyone to be aware of the signs of human trafficking.

For a comprehensive list of these signs and more information about human trafficking, visit Larimer Anti-Trafficking.

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