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Scottsdale city, hotel employees training to identify signs of human trafficking

A hotel in Scottsdale is joining city employees in learning how to spot human and sex trafficking.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:57 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Every year, Scottsdale hosts several huge events, and the Scottsdale Police chief says it can come with unwanted visitors. “When you have a lot of excess people coming in, a lot of tourism for big special events, you also have traffickers that come into the Valley to ply their trade,” said Chief Jeff Walther.

But the City of Scottsdale is trying to do something about it, becoming the first city in Arizona to train employees on how to identify signs of human and sex trafficking. The city says 1,700 of 2,000 employees are trained. “It really opens your eyes, and then you start to recognize the indicators. Then you’re going to start looking and saying this doesn’t look right and you’re going to report it to police and likely save a life,” Chief Walther said.

According to city leaders, this training has saved at least three lives. Hotel Valley Ho was the first hotel in Arizona to receive SAFE (Safeguarding All From Exploitation) Action Project certification. Adrian Aguayo is a security guard at Hotel Valley Ho. He is one of more than 200 employees who went through the training. “It’s drug abuse, it’s fatigue, bruising, manipulation, control. It’s those kids of things we’re looking for. When we see that then we go and ask basic questions that get more in depth,” he said.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich says this kind of partnership is needed to continue saving lives. “It’s not something that prosecutors or even police officers can do alone. It takes an entire community,” he said. For more information on AATN and its programs, click here.