Sex trafficking surge not expected during eclipse

Upwards of 1 million people may come to Oregon to watch the eclipse

File photo of an undercover human sex trafficking operation in Portland, Ore. (KOIN)
File photo of an undercover human sex trafficking operation in Portland, Ore. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Trafficking Unit says at this point, they have no reason to suspect there would be a surge in human sex trafficking in the metro area given the fact that upwards of 1 million additional people may come to the state to watch the eclipse.

The bureau has said in the past that during major events, such as the Rose Festival, they do see a slight increase in the number of people engaging in commercial sexual solicitation in the city. It’s common for human sex trafficking to increase in other cities that are host to big events such as the Super Bowl, according to police.

“Eye on the Eclipse” – a KOIN 6 News special at 8 p.m. Saturday

In a statement provided to KOIN 6 News, a police supervisor for the bureau’s Sex Trafficking Unit said, “The sex trafficking unit has been and will be continuing to conduct operation targeting trafficking and rescuing victims. We will be continuing operations during this time period like any other major event.”

The sex trafficking unit works closely with the Oregon FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, which is made up of task force officers from the Port of Portland, Portland Police Bureau, Beaverton Police Department, Tigard Police Department and Vancouver Police Department.

According to PPB:

If you know of, or think, someone may be involved in trafficking or is being exploited, please contact the Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Trafficking Unit at 503-255-0118, the Sexual Assault Resource Center hotline 1-800-640-5311; or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1-800-843-5678 or via the Cyber Tipline: http://www.missingkids.org/CyberTipline 

Complete coverage of the solar eclipse