COLUMBIA STATION, OH – The Committee to Elect Hall for Sheriff and the
Stasek Group announce the endowment of $10,000 to the Cleveland State
University Foundation to provide free training in human trafficking
investigations for 400 Lorain County and northeast Ohio law enforcement
officers. The training session will take place on November 9th and 10th at the
Cleveland State campus in downtown Cleveland.
Lorain County law enforcement officials have only recorded two human
trafficking arrests and prosecutions since 2013 and the training is
desperately needed to enhance investigative knowledge in human trafficking
operations and interdiction. As the ninth largest county in the state currently
ranked sixth in human trafficking cases, Lorain County is in desperate need
of formal training to enhance enforcement efforts and rescue victims of
these heinous crimes.
The endowment will assist the Cleveland State University (CSU) Police
Department in bringing the training expertise of the Missouri-based Human
Trafficking Training Center to northeast Ohio. The comprehensive and
effective skill-based training will ensure officers are provided the tools to
immediately identify and help human trafficking victims while taking
traffickers out of circulation.
The two-day class will provide officers with identification skills that result in
the extraction of trafficking victims from the hands of their traffickers and
connect them with the services they need. Officers will also ensure
prosecutors are provided enough evidence to prosecute criminals and help
Jack Hall, who will seek candidacy for Lorain County Sheriff in 2024 was
moved by the story of Courtney Kinkoph – a Lake County resident who likely
lost her life to human trafficking in Cleveland on February 7, 2022. At 29
years old, Courtney went missing in November 2021 from a group home in
Willoughby. She was dealing with substance abuse issues and mental illness.
Her parents had guardianship over her.
Courtney’s mother Carolyn Kinkoph is an employee of CSU and founded the
Lake County Collaborative to End Human Trafficking to help combat the issue
of these crimes locally. Carolyn was raised in Lorain and still has deep roots
in the county – including serving on Hall’s human trafficking town hall
meeting panels to educate citizens of the horrific reality of human trafficking
in northeast Ohio.
Through her workings with the collaborative, Carolyn Kinkoph learned of a
vast void in law enforcement awareness and training regarding the crime of
human trafficking. She sought to bring the nationally-renowned Missouri
training program to the area and began to raise the funds to make this
training a reality.
Realizing this would take an enormous effort to accomplish, Hall asked
Kinkoph if his campaign could assist in raising the funds to ensure the
training would be available at no cost for law enforcement. “I thought I would
be working the phones and making dozens of calls to our campaign donors
to help raise the funds,” said Hall. “However, my first call was to Albie
Stasek. After hearing Courtney’s story, he immediately agreed to pay for the
entire cost of the instructors.”
Stasek, an Avon resident is the owner of The Stasek Group – a premier real
estate team in Cleveland that handles real estate sales, purchasing and
consulting. He also organizes Cleveland’s Rock ‘n’ Rescue concert fundraiser
to benefit local and national organizations to fight against human trafficking
– including the Renee Jones Empowerment Center and Love Justice.
“I was shocked to hear that first responders had little to no training in human
trafficking,” said Stasek. “The men and women who put their lives on the line
each day need to be equipped with knowledge of prevention and
investigation of this growing crime.”
Albie’s generosity will help make Carolyn Kinkoph’s dream of eradicating
human trafficking a reality. According to Stasek, “This is just the beginning of
our work to help raise awareness and put a dent in what’s happening here in
northeastern Ohio. If we empower our law enforcement with more education
and knowledge, we are sure to change more lives.”