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Human Trafficking in the News
Attorney General warns against poolside posts
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Despite the weather, many in central Arkansas will spend at least parts of their weekend by the pool or maybe the lake. If you're one of those people, then this alert is for you. The Attorney General is warning parents against posting pictures of your kids in their bathing suits on social media. 
 
Criminal records follow women who escape prostitution and seek new lives
Women trafficked for prostitution as teenagers can become lifelong victims -- their criminal records hounding them as they attempt to transition into mainstream society. In Utah, however, women leaving the sex trade could stand a better chance after the enactment of a law this year that could open doors for those who were trafficked -- that is, forced or coerced into prostitution. But even with the new law, getting criminal charges vacated could be challenging, because those seeking relief must prove they were trafficked.
 
Brownback lauds new law aiding fight against human trafficking
Gov. Sam Brownback described human trafficking as a modern iteration of slavery Monday, affirming his justification for signing legislation to strengthen interdiction and prosecution of people who exploit children in Kansas.

Everyday Heroes tractor auction nets 
record donation for TAT

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and his daughter Sophia checked out the Everyday Heroes tractor before it was auctioned off.
On June 20, Mike Jimenez, owner of Phoenix-based J&L Transportation provided the winning bid of $140,000 for the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 tractor auctioned off by Ritchie Bros. Auction as a fundraiser for Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) by Inland Kenworth. As a result, TAT will receive an $89,000 donation, the largest one-time gift in the organization's history.
 
"We are absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed by the generosity of the industry, and extremely grateful to Mike Jimenez and J&L Transportation for adding the Everyday Heroes Truck to its fleet," said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director.
 
"This culminated an 8-month project that had a tremendous finish," said Don Blake, Inland Kenworth's new truck sales manager in the Phoenix area, who spearheaded the program. "Our sponsors came together to donate and discount their pricing in order for us to build the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680. I was on pins and needles as the auction and bidding took place and was so happy that the truck was going to a local company that demonstrated its commitment to such a worthy cause."
             
Jimenez, who was in South Africa at the time of the auction, produced the winning bid by proxy. "Though I have not encountered human trafficking, it does exist in our world," he said. "It's been my experience  that when our industry gets behind a cause, it is a worthwhile cause. When Don expressed his interest, along with Inland Kenworth and all the other supporters and sponsors intent on doing this project, I knew J&L should be a part of the answer to end such heartbreaking events. I'm confident that TAT will use the proceeds to continue the education efforts and training necessary to end human trafficking in the future. Without their efforts, I would still be blind to this epidemic in our society."

The Kenworth T680, fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, 485-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine, and EatonĀ® Fuller Advantageā„¢ 10-speed automated transmission, joins 35 other trucks in the J&L Transporation fleet. The truck will be placed in J&L's dedicated fleet and utilized in Arizona, California and Nevada.

TAT invited to testify before Congress

Kendis Paris, executive director of Truckers Against Trafficking, has been invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and  Transportation in Washington, D.C. on July 12. 
 
"Testifying before Congress regarding the critical impact the US trucking industry has made in combating domestic sex trafficking is a high honor indeed," said Paris. "From professional drivers to truck stop employees to safety directors and CEOs of companies ... TAT has born first-hand witness of what can be done when good men and women raise up and use their influence and resources to fight evil." 
 
Chaired by Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has jurisdiction over all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to a long list of areas, including interstate commerce, highway safety, the regulation of interstate common carriers, including railroads, buses, trucks, vessels, pipelines and civil aviation, as well as transportation and transportation and commerce aspects of Outer Continental Shelf lands. 
AAMVA audience important component 
to advancing Iowa MVE use
 
Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, spoke to AAMVA attendees in Chattanooga.
TAT Operations Director Laura Cyrus recently co-presented on CMV Interdiction: Drug and Human Trafficking at the Region ll conference of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The session touched on ways law enforcement, federal partners, state DMV/DOT offices and trucking can all work together to help in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.
 
Co-presenters for the session included Captain Brian Baxter, Criminal Investigation Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety; Sergeant Darren Reid, Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, Iowa Department of Transportation; and David R. Mullins, Special Agent, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
 
Capt. Baxter, Sgt. Reid and Agent Mullins all shared interdiction case studies and updated the audience on what they, as law enforcement officers, are seeing the field. Cyrus familiarized folks with TAT's efforts to engage the trucking and law enforcement communities in a more unified work effort. She also requested that audience members representing various sectors within state government take the TAT Iowa MVE model back to their offices and start or continue discussions around how their states can increase levels of engagement with TAT. 
 
"It was fantastic to be able to round out the session as the closing speaker," said Cyrus. "Each of the gentlemen before me spoke about TAT and some of their work with us, prior to me even speaking. I was truly grateful that they each took the time to reference our organization by name and encouraged everyone in the room to get involved with our program. I'm hopeful that further connections will be made within each state represented and that our Iowa MVE model will continue to be replicated in deeper, more engaging ways across the nation. I was able to pass out a number of law enforcement training DVDs, regular DVDs and wallet cards, and several attendees made a specific point to approach our table afterward and express their sincere thanks for our work and the excitement they have around the increasing efforts across the country to incorporate TAT training at the CDL school level." 

Some of the attendees at the coalition build included (L to R) Carol Morris, victim assistant specialist for Homeland Security Investigations; Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build specialist; Sheila Foertsch, manager director of the Wyoming Trucking Association; Cara Chambers, director of the Division of Victim Services for the Wyoming Attorney General's Office; and Special Agent Laura Elder, Office of Resident Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations
Wyoming coalition build primes pump for additional law enforcement training

Truckers Against Trafficking and the Freedom Drivers Project held a coalition build in Casper, Wyoming at the end of June for 18 representatives of the truck stop/travel plaza industry, five trucking members and 30 law enforcement members from local, state and federal agencies. The build was co-hosted by the Wyoming Trucking Association, Homeland Security Investigations, the Wyoming Office of the Attorney General and TAT.
 
During the half-day training, attendees learned about Wyoming laws around human trafficking, heard actual local case studies of trafficking, as well as stings that have occurred in the state, dispelling the myth that "it doesn't happen here." TAT Field Trainer Beth Jacobs told her story as a trafficking victim and survivor leader, providing concrete training to law enforcement about having a victim-centered approach. There was a good discussion at the end of the day about how to get more of the industry in Wyoming actively involved in combatting human trafficking.
 
The Wyoming coalition build had an audience of over 50 from law enforcement, trucking and travel plaza groups.
"We're grateful to have such great partners in Wyoming," shared Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build specialist, "and are hopeful this meeting will produce more calls into law enforcement, with more victims recovered and more perpetrators arrested."

Upcoming Events

July 12 - Trucking Association Executives Council 2017 annual meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting 

July 12  Congressional Hearings, Washington, DC, Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presenting

July 12 - O klahoma Corporation Commission, Antlers, OK, Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build specialist, presenting

July 13-14 - Iowa 80 Jamboree, Walcott, IA, FDP and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, attending

July 19 - Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Tonkawa, OK, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting

July 19  - Aurora Youth 4 Success, Aurora, CO, FDP, Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, and Molly Griffiths, TAT administrative specialist, attending

July 28 - USA Trucks, Van Buren, AR, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting
Truckers Against Trafficking 
PO Box 816 | Englewood, CO 80151
tat.truckers@gmail.com

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