Bud starts off the meeting reassuring us that he supports any actions the council can take to stop human trafficking, so he still has that going for him! County Executive candidate Kirby Delauter is absent…again. We have to say we were so impressed with the presentation this evening. Kudos must go out to Jessica Fitzwater for brining this to everyone’s attention. So many knowledgable, articulate folks came in front of the council to give us information about this sickening problem. You can read the entire report here or just look at our highlights:
Frederick mayor Michael O’Connor told us some of the recommendations of the committee:
- Mandatory training for lodging employees to help identify human trafficking victims.
- Making sure all bodyworks establishments are properly licensed. (This is the only time Billy pipes up this evening-he wants to have a definition of bodyworks, we can only imagine what must have been going through that mind of his.)
- Penalties for landlords and tenants who knowingly allow human traffickers to operate.
- The creation of a survivor services fund created from the confiscated property of the human trafficker(s).
- Creation of signs that alert the public to what human trafficking looks like, both sex and labor trafficking. In other words: “If you see something, say something”!
Chief Hargis likened this problem to domestic violence 30 years ago. 30 years ago (and this is really hard to stomach folks), domestic violence wasn’t on anyone’s radar. It wasn’t seen as a law enforcement problem. That’s how the issue of human trafficking has been treated..as someone else’s problem. But it isn’t, its a human problem that all humans should be concerned about. Contrary to what the High Sheriff or Billy or Kirby would lead us to believe, this isn’t just a problem for the federal government to solve. If a victim is found in Frederick County, and there have been numerous cases here, it’s a Frederick County problem. If you want more information about human trafficking visit the Polaris site. And after you read that, don’t ever, ever forget that Billy Shreve said that there are groups in favor of this. We don’t need a voice like that representing us in Annapolis.
Late in the day, the council agenda was changed to reflect this addition:
There was no clickable link, so we didn’t have any other information to go on. When it came time to vote we get this breakdown:
Yay-Jessica, M.C., Bud, Tony, Jerry
Partying it up in Punta Cana-Kirby
Now, we have no idea what in the world is going on with this! Anyone who can enlighten us please send us a line!