TAMPA, Fla. – In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, warnings were directed to quotes as officials visited more than 30 adult entertainment companies to assess compliance with an ordinance mandating signs that assist potential victims of human trafficking.
“History has shown us that human trafficking increases whenever a major event hits a bigger city like the Super Bowl,” Scott Savitt, a Tampa police officer, told I-Team investigator Kylie McGivern.
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Hillsborough County Ordinance requires that adult strip clubs, bookstores, and theaters, cabarets, and other adult entertainment establishments post signs with information on how to contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center if they, or someone they know, become victims from human trafficking.
“They’re in every single bathroom cabin, they’re in every single dressing room. They’re prominently displayed in the lobby. We want to make sure everyone sees them,” Savitt said of the signage.
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The characters are written in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
“We want the victims to know that they are victims. We will treat them like victims. We will not treat them like criminals. There are many different programs that we want them to know that we are trying to reach them, “Savitt said.
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Of the roughly three dozen companies inspected, Hillsborough County listed two non-compliant companies:
- Teaser at 9700 N Nebraska Ave.
- The Pink Pussycat at 10924 N Nebraska Ave.
The fine is $ 265.
Teasers manager Brian Gibson told the I-Team that they now have the registrations in all the required places.
“We want to do the right things. There are a lot of people going to get through and we want to make sure they aren’t forced to do anything,” Gibson said of the dancers on the eve of Super Bowl weekend.
Gibson said he supports the regulation requiring signs to list resources for victims of human trafficking.
“You just need to feel safe. If someone is brought in from another state, they have an opportunity to get help,” Gibson said. “If we can help someone get out, then we’ve done our job.”
The I-Team has asked The Pink Pussycat for a comment and has not yet received a response.
If you believe you have been a victim of human trafficking, or if you suspect that an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the national human trafficking hotline or call 1-888-373-7888. If you suspect a child is a victim, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.