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Checking strip clubs, massage businesses for human trafficking signs

Bay area businesses are getting checked to see if they're complying with a human trafficking ordinance in Hillsborough County.
Credit: WTSP
Teams in Hillsborough County are checking businesses to see if they have the proper signs to help those who are trapped in human trafficking.

TAMPA, Fla. — There are some major events that will attract thousands to the Bay area over the next year like Wrestlemania and the SuperBowl. And before all those people come to town, some adult businesses are getting a once-over to see if they are complying with a human trafficking ordinance.

Enforcement teams in Hillsborough Counties are looking to see if they have signs that are the right size and display the right information at strip clubs and massage parlors.

The ordinance was updated last fall to include more languages to give men and women options for help. Businesses are required to have the signs including English, Spanish, Mandarin and Chinese. 

If the business operators primarily speak Korean, then the signs must also be in that language. 

The signs should be displayed in some key areas including bathroom stalls and changing rooms.

Credit: WTSP
This is one of the signs that must be displayed in adult businesses like strip clubs and massage parlors under a Hillsborough County ordinance.

Susan Bradford is with Hillsborough County Consumer and Veterans Services Regulatory Compliance. She says businesses will get a warning if the owners are not in compliance. They'll have 30 days to update the signs or they could be cited.

Florida ranks third in the nation for trafficking. Last month, the newly-formed human trafficking commission met to coordinate local and state agencies to tackle the problem. One of the group's first priorities is to form what they call a hero program with incentives for businesses that train workers on how to spot and report those that are getting forced into the sex trade.

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