(WXYZ) — Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido is pushing for a newly-created human trafficking unit in his 2022 budget.
According to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, if the budget is approved, the unit would work with police to prosecute those who use force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex. An assistant prosecuting attorney would also be dedicated to prosecuting human trafficking crimes.
“I fully support our County Executive’s stated goal to do everything possible to prevent and prosecute these crimes. A fully funded Prosecutor’s Office would be an important part of prosecuting these cases,” said Lucido in a statement. “It’s truly a team effort to prosecute human trafficking cases and to advocate for survivors of these crimes.”
Lucido’s budget is currently pending review by the County Executive and submission to the County Commission.
According to Kent County Human Trafficking Task Force, human trafficking red flags include:
· A suspect may be frequently seen with young people who are vulnerable to sex trafficking;
· A suspect may carry around hotel room keys;
· A vulnerable individual may “date” someone much older, get gifts from that person, and have to check in with them often;
· A vulnerable individual’s picture may be posted on Backpage or other adult sites;
· A vulnerable individual may engage in sexual activity in order to obtain basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing;
· A vulnerable individual might have been kicked out or ran away from home.