ATLANTA, GA (WTVM) - With the Super Bowl right around the corner, several state agencies are working together to prevent human sex trafficking.
Atlanta is unfortunately a hub for this activity. The Georgia Department of Transportation, the Attorney General’s Office, and many more said they are working hard to make sure people know what the signs are, what to look out for, and what to do if they’re suspicious.
The Super Bowl will bring tens of thousands of people to Atlanta this weekend and travelers won’t be the only ones noticing.
“The pimps, the people in charge of this, they’re going to try to capitalize on it,” said. Sgt. Jay Thompson with Georgia State Patrol.
“We know that there’s more attention faced on human trafficking during the Super Bowl," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, "but what we know is this is a growing problem and it’s not someone else’s problem. It literally is happening in our backyard.”
Human sex trafficking is when someone has control over another person and traffics them out for sexual purposes.
“Whenever there’s a large event coming to any part of the country," Thompson said, "of course this case being Atlanta, there’s a much larger customer base.”
According to Scott Higley, the director of strategic communications for the Georgia Department of Transportation, if there’s an increase in human trafficking around this Super Bowl, the State of Georgia is doing everything they can to bring more awareness in and potentially even catch a lot of the perpetrators.
“The trafficking of a person is the most deplorable crime I can think of,” Thompson said.
Whether you are in Atlanta, or traveling through, Thompson said there are signs to watch out for. “Is there bruising? What are the injuries like on this person? Is there bruising on top of bruising? That kind of thing, anything to indicate is there control over this person?”
All of these agencies share one goal.
“That people are more aware," Higley said. "They’ve got both eyes open. Literally if they see something that looks suspicious, they should speak up and contact law enforcement.”
Officials suggest downloading the ‘see something send something app’ or calling authorities if you see anything suspicious.