To the Editor:
January is Human Trafficking Awareness month, and a good time to reflect on the importance of recognizing the impact human trafficking has on this area.
With seven truck refueling stations in Lake Township, it was a much bigger problem in the past than it is now, but still needs close monitoring to keep such problems at a minimum.
Thanks to vigilant employees at the local refueling stations who report suspicious activity there and regular patrolling by our officers with the Lake Township Police Department and troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, things have improved.
When the term “human trafficking” became a common phrase, those local refueling stations, known best at the time as truck stops, were a haven for prostitutes looking to earn a quick buck turning tricks. Children and teens who had run away from home or who were forced into prostitution were prime targets for those who wanted to make money off of them.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, the Lake Township Police Department was about to unveil a project in which they were to post pictures and information about missing children and teens at those township’s truck refueling stations. As the township’s community policing officer, I was to change the posters on a regular basis to keep information on missing children and teens fresh.
I had also met with deputies from the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office to coordinate efforts regarding missing children and teens from this area.
When pandemic restrictions are lifted, the project is poised to get underway.
Lake Township community policing officer