Clinton hotel takes training to spot human trafficking

CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) -- A Clinton hotel is working to make sure its staff is trained to recognize signs of human trafficking.

Andrew Smith has been Security Manager at Wild Rose Casino & Resort for around 12 years. Over the years, he's seen a lot. He’s now taking on a new role keeping an eye out for signs of potential human trafficking at the hotel.

“Really want our guests and our community to understand that we are committed to doing what we can to be a part of preventing these types of things from happening in this area,” said Andrew Smith, Wild Rose Casino & Resort Security Manager.

Smith is one of many staff members at Wild Rose that underwent training on how to spot human trafficking.

“About 75 percent of human trafficking occurs at hotels and motels,” said Nancy Miller, a member with Clinton Area Community on Human Trafficking.

The two-day session was held by members of the Clinton Area Community on Human Trafficking.

“I hope that they just feel better equipped to know the signs and that they know they can make a difference in people's lives,” said Miller.

Wild Rose is the first company in Clinton to take the steps to do this. Staff learned the classic signs of human trafficking such as individuals having large amounts of cash, regular patterns of customer stays, and repeated requests by men for directions to a certain room. They also heard real-life stories of victims and survivors.

“I think that what we have discovered in the training today is that education is key. People have to be aware of the problem before they can be a part of the solution,” said Smith.

Organizers of the training say Iowa like any state is not immune to human trafficking and by training the staff at Wild Rose. They hope they can use this education to make a difference.

“It's very clear that this kind of thing can happen literally anywhere. To be naive to that I think is to encourage it to a degree,” said Smith.

Wild Rose plans to create a staff policy on how to properly report suspicious behavior. The human trafficking group says they are in talks with other area businesses to continue the training.