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Spotting the signs of human trafficking at MSP

Did you know that any time a large sporting event takes place in a city, the rate of human trafficking in that city goes up?

With Super Bowl LII just around just around the corner, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police Department  - specifically, Detective Mari Askerooth - has been quietly spearheading an effort at MSP Airport to train as many people as possible to recognize the signs that someone may be being trafficked. 

Det. Askerooth says it's not hard to spot the signs if you are looking for it. "Everyone can play a role in helping stop human trafficking just by keeping their eyes open and knowing the signs," she says.

Askerooth also emphasizes that people shouldn't be worried about reporting something they don't know for sure is a problem. The airport police are trained to ask questions and determine if there's a crime being committed or not. Once you report what you're observing, you are out of the picture. No one will ask you to become more involved.

Your upcoming opportunities for attending a one-hour training is:

  • Thursday, Dec. 14 in the Airport Conference Center at Terminal 1 from 11 to 12 p.m. (following CSAC)
  • Thursday, Dec. 21 in the Airport Conference Center at Terminal 1 from 11 to 12 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 27 in the Airport Conference Center at Terminal 1 from 12 to 1 p.m.

No need to register. Just show up. 

If you can't attend one of these, keep an eye out for a notice of additional sessions being offered. Or, if your organization would like Det. Askerooth to provide training at one of your upcoming team meetings, give her a call or email her at:  612-726-5115 or 

Signs someone may be the victim of human trafficking:


  1. Not in control of their own documents
  2. Looks afraid
  3. Bruises
  4. Someone else is "in chargeā€ of them
  5. Doesn't know their flight destination
  6. Doesn't seem to know the name of the person they are traveling with
  7. Fear of police officers or people in uniforms
  8. Looks to someone else to answer even the most basic questions


Remember, anyone could be a victim - male or female, child or adult.