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Washington County Republican Women (WI)

Washington County Republican Women (WI)
Posted: Jul 29, 2023
Categories: Club Spotlights
Comments: 0
Author: Linda Gurath

Club Hosts Event on Drug and Human Trafficking, Inappropriate Materials in Schools

“There are no safe communities anymore” when it comes to illegal drugs and human trafficking, according to Brad Schimel, former Wisconsin Attorney General and current Waukesha County Circuit Court judge.

This was the message he delivered to a gathering of the Washington County Republican Women in Germanton on July 11.

Schimel said there has been a steady transition from simple cocaine usage in the 1990s. “This then became more dangerous with ‘crack’ cocaine, and now we have cocaine that is stronger and more potent than ever. And, too much of it is laced with fentanyl, which can be very deadly.”

He noted that drug deaths from drug overdoses was in the range of 55,000 nationwide in the ‘90s. “Now we are at over 100,000 overdose deaths every year in the United States. In Wisconsin, drug overdoses caused more deaths than automobile accidents starting in 2017. And there are no safe communities anymore. Anywhere.”

“Drug use isn’t just happening to ‘bad’ kids; it happens in every kind of family, and it is not just an urban problem,” he stressed.

He cited the increase of incidents of stolen vehicles, particularly in the Milwaukee area, as drug dealers have become mobile. “There was a time when we could raid ‘crack houses,’ but now they are operating from stolen vehicles. All of our systems are overwhelmed.”

The situation regarding human trafficking is closely related, he said. “This is an under-reported crime as victims either can’t or don’t want to come forward to the authorities. Imagine the teenage girl who has a fight with her parents and decides to run away. She’s going to want to stay warm and safe, so she goes to a mall. And this is where the traffickers find her. She’s hungry and gets offered food. Someone to listen to her and sympathize with her. Someone who befriends her and offers to take care of her. So they don’t believe they are ‘victims.’ They won’t admit they’ve been seduced. One-third of runaways will be contacted by a trafficker within 48 hours.”

“And while you go about your lives in the evening, your teenagers are on their laptops or phones, and this is where traffickers find them. This is where they ‘advertise.’”

Schimel referred to Milwaukee as the ‘heart of human trafficking.’ “There are a lot of Milwaukee connections.”

He told the group this is why there have been special training programs in Wisconsin for law enforcement personnel, such as what to look for in vehicles carrying ‘suspicious’ passengers. “We even have programs where we’ve gone to truck drivers and attendants at truck stops with training on what to look for when it comes to passengers that may be being trafficked.” However, he said they are advised not to become involved directly, but to let the authorities know when something doesn’t look right, and let them take over. 

The group also heard from Scott Allen, (R) State Representative from the 97th Assembly District, on legislation being put forward in Madison to provide parents and school boards with more access to and control over school materials they find inappropriate for their children. Those efforts were supported by local school parent-group advocates from Slinger and West Bend, and a Germantown School Board member, who all talked about ways in which parents can become more involved with what is being taught and being made available at their children’s schools.


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