The Westerville Police are hosting a community forum about human trafficking on Monday evening.
Police Chief Joe Morbitzer says the forum will probably be the first in “a line of many” in Westerville.
The forum is in partnership with the Salvation Army, Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition and CATCH Court, which helps victims of human trafficking, prostitution and sexual exploitation.
“A better understanding and knowledge, a better understanding and knowledge of what this region is doing from a partnership standpoint with the human trafficking task force, Judge (Paul) Herbert and the steps he's taking, and then the social services with police and courts, and how do we save those victims in the process,” Morbitzer says.
The seminar comes after the city investigated and shut down multiple massage businesses because residents worried they served as fronts for illegal activity.
Morbitzer says police will answer some questions about the impending investigations, but that the event “is bigger than that. That was Westerville-specific, but this is much bigger than that when we talk about human trafficking and the networks that they have.”
Seating for the event at City Hall is full, but the forum will be broadcast on Westerville's public access TV station.