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Perspective: Human trafficking, opioid abuse focus of roundtables

Perspective: Human trafficking, opioid abuse focus of roundtables

August 12th, 2017 by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo. in Opinion

Blaine Luetkemeyer

Not only are students preparing to head back to school but the hot, humid weather has cooled off some so Missourians can get outside and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. For me, the last few days have been great as I have continued my travels around Missouri's 3rd District. I have made several stops and talked with countless people about all sorts of various topics that are important to them.

Last week, I discussed in-depth the opioid abuse at roundtables we held. I would like to highlight another roundtable I recently had on a topic getting more and more national attention each day: human trafficking. Human trafficking impacts every community in our country. In America, the National Human Trafficking hotline recorded more than 7,500 human trafficking cases in the United States in 2016. This is a 35.7 percent increase from 2015. The roundtable was held in Franklin County, and individuals from the Jefferson County Health Department, Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak, and members from Mercy Hospital in Jefferson County all participated in this important discussion about what we can do to combat this abuse. To date, the House of Representatives has passed 16 bills that will help victims, punish traffickers, prevent trafficking and aid law enforcement.

After that roundtable, I headed to Festus High School to meet the young men and women who took first place at the International Paris Air Show. I cannot stress enough how much of a pleasure it was to talk with those students about their experience overseas and also to present them with a congratulatory statement that was printed in the Congressional Record discussing their accomplishments. These students have made Missouri incredibly proud, and I wish each of them the best of luck in their very bright futures.

On a similar note, I recently met and presented the Wentzville Civil Air Patrol with their own congratulatory statement that was also printed in the Congressional Record. The Civil Air Patrol is an all volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary and these young men and women support Missouri's communities with emergency response, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power. These individuals are true community leaders, and their commitment to the Civil Air Patrol deserves our appreciation and gratitude.

My visits, meetings and roundtables around the 3rd District continue each day, and I look forward to being in your community. Please make sure to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest updates and pictures about where I have been.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., shares his perspective each week on national issues, including ones that affect Missouri. He represents the state's 3rd District, which includes Jefferson City. His local office can be reached at 573-635-7232.