Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

RTA Raises Awareness about Human Trafficking, Which Isn't Just Some Scary Thing That Happens in the Balkans

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Photo courtesy of RTA
  • Photo courtesy of RTA

Yesterday afternoon, the RTA hosted an anti-human-trafficking awareness program at Tower City in conjunction with the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking as part of an ongoing campaign to educate the public about the issue.

Jerry Masek, spokesman for RTA, says that around 50 people attended the event, many of whom sat for a full 45 minutes to listen to various presenters. He adds that the initiative is part of an emphasis which President Obama himself stressed last year.

"The Department of Transportation is important to this issue because transit is how people get around," Masek says, "and transit workers are often the ones who notice if something's wrong."

Masek says the RTA has been training its employees to recognize signs of human trafficking and have promoted the Safe Place program — every RTA bus and train is an official "safe place" — where kids in trouble can get immediate access to a shelter or counseling. Additionally, posters at RTA stations are intended to continually raise awareness about the issue.

Yesterday's program featured presentations by U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach, the FBI, the county prosecutor's office and others. Guests and passersby were able to take advantage of tables with literature and information after the official presentations concluded.

Karen Walsh, director of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking says that yesterday's event was important not only as an instrument of awareness and education but also "to demonstrate the cooperation of all levels of government with each other and with social service agencies to address the problem.”

Walsh says that the public's understanding of human trafficking and its local impact is "vitally important" to criminal identification, prosecution and prevention.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 29, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation