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BOISE -- Police are trying to spread the word about a problem in the City of Trees that they say is much worse than people realize.

Every hotel in this city has it happening, whether they realize it or not, said BPD Detective Tim Brady. It happens in hotels. It happens in private homes. It happens in strip clubs. Human trafficking is really everywhere.

Human trafficking is a form of slavery, one of the largest criminal industries in the world, and the fastest growing. Victims are made to engage in prostitution, pornography, or forms of labor exploitation, like domestic servitude or migrant agricultural work.

They're forced into this life, or manipulated, or coerced, or persuaded, said Brady. It's a situation where a lot of times, they can't find how to get out of it. They continue to stay in it, because the alternative is, they don't have one.

But officers say, one of the ways to battle it is to raise awareness of it, like they did on Saturday with a community meeting and training event.

If people are aware, then they'll be able to notify law enforcement, and we'll be able to take steps to be able to help victims, said Brady. We don't have victims knocking down our doors to report this.

Brady says children, teens, men, and women are all trafficked.

There are often clues that someone is a victim, including acting fearful, or always being accompanied by another person who doesn't let them control their money or other aspects of their life.

Overall, Boise is a good place to live, and we feel safe here, said Brady. But, if we continue to let it go on, it's going to develop and grow into something worse than it already is.

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