By Greg Halbleib
BLOOMINGTON – U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood says human trafficking is not confined to major cities, as cases can be found in central Illinois.
LaHood (R-Ill.) held a roundtable discussion on the topic Tuesday afternoon at Heartland Community College with representatives of law enforcement and human service agencies. LaHood said he explained resources are available to help those agencies know how to spot trafficking and deal with it.
“State police, they now have a task force. They now have specialized training to know what to look for,” LaHood told WJBC’s Sam Wood. “First responders, people in the medical community, (McLean County) Sheriff (Jon) Sandage and what he’s doing, so that people are aware and (know) who to call.”
LaHood said sex crimes are commonly associated with human trafficking, but it can also involve forced labor and domestic servitude. He said he has sponsored legislation extending the statute of limitations for human trafficking crimes and to go after customers in sex cases involving trafficking.
Greg Halbleib can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.