Murfreesboro Police educate hairstylists about human trafficking signs

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — “I learned a lot, and it made me so sick, because I never knew that kind of stuff existed.”

But police say human trafficking is a growing crime because of young people’s access to apps.

“A lot of this it was really hard to hear,” said Hairstylist Stefanie Templeton.

On Tuesday night, detectives at the Murfreesboro Police Department educated hairstylists and barbers on what to look out for if a potential victim comes into their salon.

“Because a lot of times the victim is a female and they’re using that as a way to change appearance especially someone who is underage, they’ll want to make them look older,” Lt. Jeff Baskette said.

Templeton said while she doesn’t typically have a lot of teenage clients it’s good for her to know the signs of trafficking.

Police say branding tattoos, needing permission to get a certain hairstyle, an older adult controlling the conversation and someone else paying for the client’s services are just some of the red flags.

“I feel like if we could save one person, I feel like I’d be winning by doing so,” Templeton said.

Police say if salon staff sees any odd behaviors, even if it doesn’t turn out to be human trafficking, it’s important to alert the authorities. Detectives recommended calling the Department of Children’s Services, local police, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The TBI hotline to call for sex trafficking crimes is 1 (855) 558-6484.

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