New Jersey is preparing for a possible increase in human trafficking activity when the state hosts the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands in January.

 

Louisiana State Police Sgt. Chad Gremillion says there was an increase in prostitution when New Orleans hosted this year's Super Bowl, and it could happen in New Jersey.

"A pimp can make in excess of $600,000 a year. That's a huge business in today's economy," Gremillion said. "So obviously they're out there bringing them to where the market is, where the demand is."

Gremillion says girls as young as 15 who run away from home end up being forced into the traveling prostitution rings, and it's hard to convince them to cooperate with authorities.

Large sporting events with a party atmosphere increase the demand for prostitutes, agreed Abigail Kuzma, director of consumer protection in the Indiana attorney general's office. She said children as young as 12 are involved.

"It's a $32 billion a year industry worldwide," Kuzma said. "The pimps and the folks who are making this happen are going where the money is and when that happens you have an increased risk for human trafficking because 12 to 14 is the average age in the United States that kids are pulled into commercial sex."

Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman says the suggestions made at a symposium at State Police Headquarters Tuesday will be used to strengthen the state's anti-trafficking strategy.