(KMOV.com) – Local officials are proposing steps to stop sex trafficking.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley plans on proposing a $250,000 plan to battle sex trafficking this year and a $600,000 plan for next year.
The ages of the women trafficked in St. Louis range from 12 to 15 years old. Dooley said that the county police is understaffed to battle sex trafficking.
The money for the plan would be used to build a computer forensics lab and to hire two forensic examiners. Dooley said those resources are needed because victims often do not cooperate.
“They don’t want to talk against the pimps ... so you have to get that data from the cell phones, computers, and advertising. We need forensic police officers who know how to do this,” said Dooley.
Pat Bradley runs Crisis Aid, an organization that is the only safe house in St. Louis for sex trafficking victims. Bradley said it is critical that the county pass this proposal.
“I think they will be able to find a lot more information than they can right now,” Bradley said.
Once a boy or girl is rescued from trafficking, the goal is to introduce them to a safe environment and provide counseling and education.