Ramsey County law enforcement leaders, representatives from the lodging industry and advocacy organizations are scheduled Thursday to unveil details of a new partnership to combat sex trafficking in Ramsey County and beyond.
"This new initiative seeks to engage the efforts of responsible hotel and motel owners and their employees to join the fight through training and clear protocols for action, which involve contacting the police," according to a press advisory from the office of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.
The press conference is scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 23) at the Roseville Radisson 2540 N. Cleveland Ave. Officials expected to attend include Roseville Police Chief Rick Mathwig, Choi, Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom and Dan McElroy, president of Hospitality Minnesota.
Following the press conference, the first training session involving 20 hotels and motels and about 75 lodging industry employees in Ramsey County will be convened.
Choi's office said, "This is a first of its kind training initiative in Minnesota. Further details will be shared about follow up efforts and our collective vision of spreading this effort to other parts of the state. Thursday afternoon’s training session is just the starting point toward realizing this goal and ending sex trafficking in our community."
Choi's office said that sex trafficking of children in the U.S., including Minnesota, is a growing concern of law enforcement. "In almost every recent case involving child sex trafficking in Minnesota, the illegal transaction begins on Backpage.com and then ends up at a local hotel or motel in our community, often-times in a suburban location."
The new law enforcemt initiative comes on the heels of a Ramsey County district judge sentencing a 39-year-old Columbia Heights man to 21 years in prison for promotion of prostitution of a 17-year-old girl at a Roseville hotel. Click here to read the full post.