Eau Claire Hotel Staff Getting Training To Spot Victims Of Human Trafficking

Non-Profit Advocacy Group Fierce Freedom Says Workers Can Be Eyes, Ears Of Law Enforcement

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Staff from Eau Claire-area hotels are being trained on how to spot victims of human trafficking.

Fierce Freedom, a non-profit organization based in Eau Claire working to stop human trafficking in western Wisconsin, teamed up with police this week to train local hotel management and staff on the signs that someone is being forced to trade sex for money.

Jodi Emerson, of Fierce Freedom, said police usually respond after a crime has already happened, but alert hotel staff can help them prevent it.

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“People who are working the hotels are going to see things differently and and they’re going to see it on a more consistent basis. So, having them be the eyes and ears of law enforcement really makes a big difference,” Emerson said.

Emerson said her group is also working on system to rate hotels based on how aggressive they are in spotting human trafficking. She expects to have a website with the ratings up by Memorial Day. Eau Claire is a common stop for traffickers on Interstate 94 between Chicago and Minneapolis.

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