State, local officials talk local coalition on human trafficking

Nicki Gorny • Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 12:47 PM

SANDUSKY — The Erie County Prosecutor’s Office hosted a discussion on human trafficking on Tuesday, in line with a series of events planned in conjunction with Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State address. It included ideas on how a local coalition focused on the topic could take shape.

Elizabeth Ranade Janis, the state’s anti-human trafficking coordinator through the Ohio Department of Safety, led much of the discussion Tuesday. She started with an overview of human trafficking, which she identified, generally, as the compelled service of others for profit. Then, after checking in with a few attendees representing stakeholder organizations in the community on the circumstances of trafficking-related incidents in Erie County, she steered the conversation toward the potential formation of a local coalition.

“What do you think it would take to move this forward?” she asked.

Efforts to combat human trafficking are already underway in the area, as Tracy McGInley, a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University, shared during the meeting. She has been involved in efforts to reach out to local hotel and motel management, as well as local schools, for at least three years, she said.

McGinley said a coalition encompassing Erie, Huron and Ashland counties is under consideration.

“The whole point of a coalition is to get the right people at the table talking to each other,” Ranade Janis said.

“People in our community … they want to be involved,” McGinley said.

Reach reporter Nicki Gorny at gorny@sanduskyregister.com and follow her on Twitter at @Nicki_Gorny.

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