Each month the Santee Community Oriented Policing Committee (COMPOC) holds a from Santee's law enforcement, government, schools and other key organizations discuss local crime issues so that they can make recomendations to the .
This month's meeting focused on human trafficking and prostitution in East County San Diego and Santee, with a presentation by Danielle Benjamin with the Sheriff's Department.
Here are some key notes from the July 9 meeting:
• Santee doesn't have "street walkers" like you might find on El Cajon Boulevard. It is considered more of a recruiting area for new girls.
• "Human trafficking is also the 15-year-old girl living on Pebble Beach that runs away to Parkway Plaza, meets a man that says he can take care of her; soon she's being abused, her family is threatened..."
• "We know recruiting and prostitution are factors in middle and high schools in Santee, Lakeside and the Grossmont Union High School District. Though it's not a high percent, not even 1 percent of girls..." -Meredith Riffel, Santee Collaborative
• Two case studies from Santee were presented. One runaway from Santee has been seen recruiting at Parkway Middle School in La Mesa.
• There are identifiable problem teens at local High Schools. "Our own children are being recruited into the lifestyle..."
• Risk indicators: Exposure to domestic violence, school attendence/truancy, runaway, victims of abuse.
• Sheriff's Dept. has set up a fake Facebook account pretending to be a teenage girl and they said the page gets harrassed by people trying to recruit.
• There is a lack of cooperation, "99 percent of 'working girls' want nothing to do with law enforcement."
• It is extremely difficult to prosecute and prove pimping.
• There could easily be an issue with prostitution on Mission Gorge Road, especially with in the area, and inmates being let out daily. But, there isn't a problem because the Sheriff Dept. is on top loitering in the area.