COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Brazos Valley Lodging Association and Texas Hotel/Lodging Association hosted a sex trafficking prevention training session on Thursday for hotel employees across the Brazos Valley.
The group of more than 30 gathered at the Bryan-College Station Courtyard Marriott to learn what sex trafficking looks like and how it operates in hotels.
A large part of prevention is knowing what exact signs to look for.
“Excessive amount of cell phones in a room... a lot of people coming and going to a particular room... a young girl that walks by the front desk and appears to be carrying herself much more older,” said Carolyn McCall-Squires, the Director of Membership at the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association.
Once a hotel employee sees those signs, they’re not only ethically responsible to get help, it’s a legal obligation.
“State law requires that you must report within 48 hours if you believe or suspect that child abuse is occurring, and of course, sex trafficking is child abuse... and charges can be filed if you don’t report,” said Brandy Norris from the College Station Police Department.
Norris said CSPD made an arrest at a hotel just last week, and they get those kind of calls often.
With more training sessions like this one, those facilitating them are hopeful for the future.
“I would encourage the average person to google human trafficking and educate yourself... people don’t realize that it’s happening right in their backyard. It’s an important topic to bring to light so that we can make a difference," said McCall-Squires.
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