A coordinated effort with law enforcement agencies in Genesee County looks to rescue 23 kids who have been missing and may be vulnerable to human trafficking.

Genesee County Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson announced a special operation in his Week In Review Wednesday, August 12. The operation will a coordinated sweep of the county using resources from multiple police agencies within Genesee County to combat human trafficking.

The announcement comes near the three-minute mark in the video above. In the video, Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson describes the missing as kids that are just looking for love and shelter. All are under the age of 17. Sheriff Swanson said that they will be seeking out these vulnerable individuals in an effort to combat human trafficking. This will be the third time this type of special operation has been conducted in the county.

Sheriff Swanson said they will seek out the children and make sure they are safe. He was quick to point out that it is unknown at this time if the missing children in question are indeed being used in human trafficking but that they are perhaps the most vulnerable population in the county for it. The sheriff said an update on the operation will take place Friday and can be viewed here.

Here indicators of human trafficking to watch out for according to the Department of Homeland Security:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?
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