General Criminal Defense
Human trafficking of young girls is already a large problem in the Tampa Bay area and with the thousands of visitors coming to the area for the Republican national Convention this year, there is expected to be a jump in human trafficking activity. George Koder, former Clearwater police lieutenant, was a leader in the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force. Koder estimates a 50% jump in human trafficking activity during the convention.
The Zonta Club of Pinellas County is taking a pro-active approach to bringing awareness to this serious crime. Donna Landcaster, the Zonta’s chapter secretary has paid $25,000 to erect nine billboards across Pinellas and Hillsborough County. Zonta International is an organization committed to improving the status of women and opposing violence against women. One of the billboards features a man wearing a suit jacket and wedding band and states, “This man wants to rent your daughter.” It goes onto list a website (doyouknowlacy.com) where people can learn more about human trafficking of young girls.
Lancaster claims the billboards are not targeted at Republicans. The Zonta Club of Pinellas County is embarking on an educational campaign to mark its 50th anniversary with the hope that “some of the Republican national convention participants will see it and think about it and go back to their homes and perhaps spread the word.”
Florida has a reputation as one of the four most popular destinations for domestic labor trafficking and sex trafficking, along with New York, California, and Texas.
What are your thoughts? Are these billboards an effective way to bring awareness to a serious crime? Any other ideas on curbing the increase in trafficking cases during the RNC?