MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) – Your hair stylist or barber may soon know the signs of human trafficking. A Midstate police department is teaching them how to be an extra set of eyes in the community.
Murfreesboro police said this was the first time they’ve held this kind of training for barbers, hair stylists, and nail salons owners.
“As a stylist, I didn't really see how it would be a direct connection,” a woman who didn’t want to be identified said.
What she does see now is how she can help in the fight against human trafficking. The stylist didn’t want to give her name because of the sensitive subject.
“As a woman, I want to be aware and I want others to be aware too,” the woman said.
She was among a handful of people at Tuesday’s training session at the Murfreesboro Police Department. News4 wanted to know from police why focus on hair and nail salons.
"The main thing is just that place to keep up appearances,” Lt. Jeff Baskette with the Murfreesboro Police Department said.
Appearances police said human traffickers sometimes even changed or used as a reward for victims.
“Because in their mind, they're trying to sell a product,” Lt. Baskette said.
Police said the training allows hair stylists, barbers, and nail salon owners to pick up on possible signs. Some include unexplained injuries, hotel keys, multiple phones, and someone not able to make decisions without approval.
“It's important to be able to see those signs if someone is being abused and they're coming in to either change their look so they're not recognized,” the woman said.
If you believe someone might be a victim of human trafficking, call the Tennessee Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-855-55-TNHTH (86484).
You can also learn more about how you can help end human trafficking with these resources.