Local organizations have trained workers at more than 100 hotels to be the eyes and ears on the front lines of sex trafficking. Officials say the increased focus is starting to have an impact, but there's more work to do.
Mayor Jean Stothert announces the Coalition on Human Trafficking has trained 1,2000 employees at more than 100 local hotels to see the signs including a person that can't go anywhere by themselves, don't have their identification, or few personal possessions.
The Creighton Human Trafficking Initiative indicates 675 people are sold a month in Omaha, and often they're minors.
"It sends a strong message to those that are trafficking that they better not be doing it in hotels and if they're doing it they better rethink it to do it there or anywhere in this entire state because people are knowledgeable, and they're going to make the call, they're going to realize and they're going to make the call to law enforcement so we can do what we need to do," OPD Captain Ken Kanger explained.
At the age of 19, Kim Case says she was kidnapped by a gang of 4 men in her driveway outside of Kansas City.
"They held me with the intention of using me as a sex slave," Case described. "They assaulted and abused me for 16 hours, assaulted me."
Case was able to escape before being sent off to be trafficked.
At the "Disrupting Traffick Liberation Summit" she shares her story to others who try to stop trafficking in Omaha so no one else has to go through it.
"Being so near to death really changes what you understand about yourself and life and it's really about brutality and violence. it's really a terror filled situation," Case said.
They're working with people in schools, with victims, and lawmakers to raise awareness and put an end to the 2nd largest criminal industry in the world. Case wants other survivors to know they are victims and there is hope for a better life.
Experts say most of the activity occurs through appointments made online such as backpage.com.
If you suspect someone is being trafficked, whether you're sure or not, call 911 or the National Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.