CROWN POINT | Local law enforcement agencies suspect human trafficking is on the rise in the region despite few cases being filed, and those agencies are gearing up their response. Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said human trafficking is becoming more of an issue, and his office is providing in-depth training to officers through his department's Family and Children Assistance Bureau. "It's a very lucrative industry," Buncich said, citing sexual exploitation of young girls who may be runaways or homeless teens. Buncich cited possible abuses generated through "gentlemen's clubs" and growing interest in the industry by area gangs. "More of these gangs are going into this," he said. The victims often are as young as 12 and 13 and coerced into drug addiction, Buncich said. "Somewhere in America someone is missing a daughter," Buncich said. "You see a streetwalker as just a prostitute, but many, many times there's a story behind that individual." Hammond Crime Watch groups will sponsor a program about human trafficking at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Clark High School, 1921 Davis Ave., Whiting.