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Non-profit, law enforcement preparing now for possible influx of human trafficking around F1, Super Bowl

By Kim Passoth

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    LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KVVU) — In less than 100 days, F1 will race into Las Vegas, transforming the Strip into a racetrack.

About 100 days after that, the city will host the Super Bowl for the first time. Tens of thousands of people will come from around the country and around the world for these two major sporting events, but so too will those looking to profit from human trafficking. In order to stop these crimes and help survivors, local non-profits are preparing now.

“We just want to be as prepared as possible if there is an influx,” shared Joanna Granados with Signs of Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to those affected by sexual violence and exploitation. They operate a 24/7 crisis hotline and provide hospital response for sexual assault victims. Volunteers serve as advocates and provide support systems.

Given the scope and scale of F1 and the Super Bowl, the organization recognized the need to ramp up and modify plans. During the days prior to and during these events, trained volunteers will embed with Metro police to facilitate the fastest response possible to reports of human trafficking, offering survivors help and hope.

“Any and all emergency services that they may need at that moment,” Granados explained. They have teamed up with the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force, which is made up of law enforcement and other groups. For the last several months, the two organizations have been actively planning, training, and preparing to address human trafficking situations that may arise during the events, though volunteer advocates have worked and trained with officers from Metro for years for other large events.

“We really work with the Vice Section and the Special Investigation Unit for human trafficking,” Granados revealed.

Signs of Hope will also do the following:

Provide a first-responder 24/7 hotline for use by law enforcement. Provide on-scene crisis response. Coordinate, train and educate appropriate event staff and volunteers on human trafficking. Serve as the main point of contact for all resources, support, services, and referrals.

If you would like to volunteer to help during these events, the Advocate University starts this week. Learn more here: Signs of Hope

In addition to emergency response, Signs of Hope also provides long-term services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking.

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