Spotting potential human trafficking at the NFL Draft

NFL Draft

On Tuesday, local, state, and federal law enforcement joined NFL security officials at Nissan Stadium to talk about security plans for the NFL Draft.

“There will be no tolerance for any activity that may pose a threat to our residents or to our visitors,” said Don Cochran, U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee.

Cathy Lanier, NFL Chief Security Officer, said security will be similar to that of other big events, like the Fourth of July and the County Music Awards.

“There’s a lot of security in place – cameras, on-duty and off-duty officers in plain clothes, and a lot of support here,” said Lanier. “So this is going to be a very safe and fun event.”

Aside from public safety, Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Director David Rausch said another priority will be what’s been an on-going issue in and around Nashville – sex trafficking.

“Any large scale event, including those held in Nashville in this coming week, has the potential to increase the demand for illicit sex and the exploitation that can accompany it,” said Rausch. “That’s why we’re asking for the public’s help.”

Rausch said the TBI has been working with several agencies to launch, a website with the red flags of human trafficking, resources for victims, and where and who to report it.

For area law enforcement, detecting human trafficking often begins on the roads.

“Our troopers that are assigned to Interdiction plus, they’ll be working the interstates hard, looking for those indicators that may indicate that somebody is possibly being trafficked against their will and making sure that we stop and locate those individuals,” said Lt. Miller of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Cases will land in the hands of Sara Wolfson from the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, who will then prosecute those cases.

“It’s women, it’s men, it’s minors, it’s adults, but it’s any kind of vulnerable population and those are the people that these traffickers prey on – people with vulnerabilities,” said Wolfson.

Promoting prostitution is a felony offense that can carry jail time of more than a year.

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