Many Evaluate Lessons Learned About Human Trafficking During Super Bowl 52

April 30, 2018 05:16 PM

Super Bowl 52 is long gone, but some of the issues it brought to the spotlight aren't going anywhere.

RELATED: MN Sex Trafficking Survivors Work to Save Victims While Feds Investigate


On Monday morning, law enforcement, health, and human trafficking experts met to evaluate some of the most important lessons learned and see if they can be applied not just the 10 days surrounding the Super Bowl, but all year long.

"This is about helping victims, it's about creating a better tomorrow for everyone," Sgt. Grant Snyder with the Minneapolis Police Department said. 

"We learned that we can do a large-scale operation over a long period of time.  Frankly we should be doing more of it, from time to time," he said.

In all, about 100 human-trafficking-related arrests were made surrounding the Super Bowl.  Most of the arrests were made in hotels or cars, and in most cases they involved locals.

"The girls we saw were in state. The buyers were too. Out of 100 arrests, 90 or so were Minnesotans...that's surprising," Stephanie Mullen with Breaking Free, said.

Mullen said her agency operated a temporary shelter for 10 days surrounding the Super Bowl. They served about 30 people in that time, and are still helping some of them.

RELATED: State Lawmakers Debate Mandatory Sex Trafficking Awareness Training For Hotel Employees

"We have a couple utilizing the drop-in shelter during the day so we have a few extra beds set up that we didn't have before the Super Bowl... but we want and need more shelter space," she said.

One positive: most experts agree the Super Bowl raised public awareness of human trafficking. For instance, they provided training for 10,000 Crew 52 Super Bowl volunteers. One expert pointed out that's 10,000 extra sets of eyes out on the street who know what to look for.


Ellen Galles

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