The fourth annual Stop the Trafficking 5K Run/Walk for Justice drew hundreds despite the high temperatures that were forecast for Saturday, June 10, at Purgatory Creek Park.
The 5K had around 995 registrations, though race organizers estimated that the actual attendance was closer to 1,000 due to participants who didn't officially register for the timed race. Attendees heard remarks about what's being done to address human trafficking from Sgt. Grant Snyder of the Minneapolis Police Department and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Snyder said while police and advocates should increase their skills on detecting trafficking and knowing how to eliminate the demand for it, people still need to have the "difficult conversations" in their homes, schools, churches and places of work.
Klobuchar recently introduced the Abolish Human Trafficking Act, which would strengthen and reauthorize key programs that support survivors and provide resources to federal, state and local law enforcement officials on the front lines of the fight against human trafficking, according to her staff. Klobuchar said 80 percent of human trafficking victims in the U.S. were born in this country.
"Our state has really taken this on in a big way and is a national leader," she said, citing Minnesota's safe harbor law as an example.
Race organizer Christine Erickson said at least $25,000 will be donated to organizations that provide services to human trafficking survivors and about $5,000 of the race proceeds will be used to purchase clothing and hygiene products for police and advocates who encounter human trafficking victims.