The forum on Human Trafficking at New Beginnings Lutheran Church, Pacific, to be held Friday, Jan. 19, will feature Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton.

He will share insights that the community can watch for to help detect and alert authorities if someone suspects a person may be a victim of trafficking.

Pelton is a 28-year law enforcement officer. Law enforcement officers play a critical role in identifying victims of human trafficking.

“I have made a promise to make a difference and protect the innocent by using a collaborative approach with the citizens in the community to help bring criminals to justice,” Pelton said.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the church located at 791 New Beginnings Drive.

Human trafficking is a growing epidemic within the United States and metropolitan areas. The St. Louis area is known to be one of the “top 20 hotspots” of human trafficking in the nation and the Interstate 44 corridor is a known transportation route for victims.

The forum also will feature Rep. Nate Tate and Mrs. United States 2017, Lauren Ziegler.