LISTEN – MCSO Chaplain At Super Bowl To Combat Prostitution And Human Trafficking
The new chaplain with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office is currently in the San Francisco Bay area where the 50th Super Bowl will be kicking off on Sunday.
However, Lowell Hochhalter is not attending the game. He's on the streets with dozens of other volunteers working to save victims of prostitution and human trafficking. Hochhalter is working with FREE International. FREE is an acronym for FIND - RESTORE - EMBRACE and EMPOWER, and Hochhalter is the FIND director, on the streets looking for victims he and his staff can help escape from a life of human slavery.
"We're working with local groups and law enforcement to help find these kids, and get them to a safe place," Hochhalter said. "Sometimes, home is not that safe a place for these kids, so we're just looking to find a safe place for them, because the street is no place for a kid."
Hochhalter wants people in Montana and throughout the U.S. to know that slavery is alive and well in 2016.
"Slavery is not dead," he said. In fact, there are more slaves on the face of the earth today than ever before in history. From the time that Martin Luther King, Jr. said 'I have a dream', we have increased slavery to a point where he would be literally appalled at how slavery has returned. We're not talking racial or socio-economic, human trafficking crosses all lines. The best thing is to just be aware, and let someone know if you see children being trafficked or used for prostitution."
The issue received a great deal of media attention this week after a reserve player for the Denver Broncos was sent home after being associated with a case involving prostitution in the bay area.
"I'm very proud of the Denver Broncos to make their stand, and to send him home," Hochhalter said. "With the Olympics coming up in Rio de Janeiro, our group will be there along with many others, because the Olympics is a huge draw for prostitution and human trafficking."