(WJBK) - Oakland County officials are launching a new tool for victims and families of human trafficking as local law enforcement teams are working hard to stop the spread of sex slavery in our communities.
On this national Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Oakland County launched a new website, oakgov.com/humantrafficking.
"It's not just law enforcement , it's the community that recognizes the signs and symptoms and to be aware that it happens everywhere," said Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.
The website is a resource designed to help raise awareness about human trafficking, prevent it from happening and help victims. If you don't think it can happen in your community:
"Michigan is number eight in the county for human trafficking by most reports and that's not a top 10 list we want to be on," Bouchard said.
Investigators say the number of human trafficking cases is especially high in Madison Heights and Southfield because there are a lot of hotels in those cities.
"When human trafficking occurs in our local municipalities, there will be a corresponding increase in major crimes and social disorder, and quality of life complaints," said Southfield Police Chief Eric Hawkins.
Experts say anyone can play a role in preventing human trafficking but people often don't know what to look for or what questions to ask. This new website provides crucial information in fact sheets and training webinars.
"Our mission here is one to provide hope. Our mission here is to help educate," said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.