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Human Trafficking in the News
Montana DOJ hosts Truckers Against Trafficking training
In Billings on Friday, over 50 people attended special training from the Montana Department of Justice to help people in the trucking and busing industry help rescue human trafficking victims. Spokesperson Anastasia Burton said most of the attendees were from the Billings and Bozeman area.
 
Sex trafficking sting: FBI rescues 160 children, some as young as 3-years-old
The FBI and Georgia law enforcement officials saved Atlanta 160 children and made dozens of arrests in a sex sting that stunned the city, reports WSBTV. Named "Operation Safe Summer," the FBI's Atlanta field office and 38 law enforcement agencies teamed up to take down human traffickers in six metro counties, assistant Special Agent in Charge Matt Alcok said.
 
Airlines want to step up fight against human trafficking
Airlines are set to step up the fight against human trafficking, global industry body IATA said Monday as it released guidelines on how crews can act as "eyes and ears" to identify and report suspected cases. Human trafficking is the world's fastest-growing criminal industry and the second-largest after the drug trade, according to the US State Department, and there is an increasing push for the aviation industry to take action. 
Truckers Against Trafficking holds first coalition build 
in Montana

Montana Highway Patrol officers tour the Freedom Drivers Project.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) joined the Montana Motor Carriers Association and the Department of Justice in June for a coalition build in Billings, Montana. Over 50 participants from law enforcement, trucking, busing, truck stops and convenient stores attended. The law enforcement panel at the build shared various ways industry members can help them find and arrest traffickers, and the lessons they've learned from working human trafficking cases.
 
Follow-up surveys revealed that attendees were enthusiastic about TAT's message and making the training a priority at their companies. Additionally, Montana law enforcement has already invited TAT to return next February to do more extensive training. And they are planning to adopt portions of the Iowa MVE model.
 
Other results of the build include:
  • TAT will be working with law enforcement to ensure all weigh stations, ports of entry and rest areas are stocked with TAT materials. 
  • Montana Highway Patrol has requested TAT materials and will be showing TAT's law enforcement video to all troopers during their annual training in November. 
  • Montana Motor Carriers Association and the Department of Justice will begin working with TAT to get TAT's training added to the CDL curriculum in the state of Montana. 
Assistant Montana Attorney General Ole Olson addressed the audience during the panel presentation.
"This is our first joint event with the Montana Motor Carriers Association and the DOJ in Montana, so it is especially gratifying to see trucking and law enforcement take the training to heart and work together so well to bring an end to this crime," said Esther Goetsch, TAT coalition build specialist. "And we want to thank Hot Express and Swift Transport for hauling the Freedom Drivers Project to and from the build!" 
Great Dane 'puts on the dog' as it hosts 
the Freedom Drivers Project

Tim Rader from the Walmart Road Team stopped by to chat with FDP Director Helen Van Dam at the Great Dane event.
Snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn and giant cookies were all part of the Great Dane celebration as it hosted the Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) at its Statesboro plant and Savannah corporate office in June.
 
At the Statesboro plant, where Great Dane makes its refrigerated trailers, the company also gave raffle tickets to everyone who walked through the FDP, entering them in a drawing for Great Dane "swag." Even on their tight plant schedule, folks made time to come through before work, on breaks, over lunch and after work. At the corporate office, almost everyone came through the FDP. They also invited the human resources team from Gulfstream, whose office is across the street, and many of them came through as well.
 
"We had a fantastic time working with Great Dane staff and meeting the hundreds of folks who toured the FDP and attended our training sessions," said Helen Van Dam, FDP director. "We're so grateful to Great Dane and Madelaine Whalen, Melissa Long, and Susan Dober for all their work to make these events successful! We had a great response. At Statesboro, I spoke to all the department heads who walked through the FDP, and at the corporate office, I made two afternoon presentations. Great Dane employees volunteered with me to help host the trailer, and their interns helped me tear down at the end of the day." 
 
"Truckers Against Trafficking is mobilizing an entire network by educating and empowering transportation professionals to recognize and report human trafficking," stated Chris Hammond, vice president of sales at Great Dane. "Members of the trucking industry are in a unique position to actively support this mission and to demonstrate our deep commitment to this country and the safety of its citizens. Great Dane is proud to support this admirable cause, including our support of the TAT's Freedom Drivers Project. This traveling exhibit is a great way to spread awareness and inform more people of TAT's mission and the realities of domestic sex trafficking. We encourage our friends and partners to join us in supporting TAT so together we can combat this heinous crime."
 
Late in June, the FDP traveled to Washington state for the Washington State Patrol's Inspector's Challenge and the Washington Trucking Association's Truck Driving Championships. "Getting the opportunity to work with so many of Washington's finest was a true pleasure," commented Van Dam. "I spoke to all the participating officers and drivers, sharing about the reality of human trafficking, what TAT is doing about it and the vital role they have to play in ending this heinous crime."
TAT Shipping Partner Praxair, Inc. hosts TAT 
at global headquarters

Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, urged people at Praxair, Inc. to do their part in fighting human trafficking.
Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, spent a day at Praxair's global headquarters in Danbury, Connecticut speaking with corporate officers and presenting at a lunch and learn event attended by over 100 employees. As one of the avenues Praxair pursues in meeting its sustainable development goals, the company has partnered with TAT for two years, training its private fleet and contracted carriers as well as providing sponsorship support at the silver level through its Global Giving Program.
 
According to Dr. Riva Krut, vice president and chief sustainability officer, the feedback given directly to Cyrus from both leadership and employees was very positive. "For many in the audience, this is/has been an eye-opening issue," stated Dr. Krut. "As can be seen with Praxair businesses and drivers, Praxair leaders and employees take this issue very seriously. We are proud of the work Praxair is doing with TAT and proud to be a TAT supporter."
 
"We were so pleased to bring the TAT message to the Praxair headquarters," said Cyrus. "True corporate partnership is about helping to extend the TAT education beyond just drivers or contractors; it's about equipping everyone within a company with the tools and training they need to recognize and respond to human trafficking. This employee event was a fantastic opportunity to do just that. We are thrilled with the ways Praxair has helped to spread our message, and I look forward to the deepening of our partnership to ensure that more folks are engaged with this work and able to be change-makers alongside the hundreds of thousands of others empowered with this message. I am also so grateful to the entire leadership at Praxair for their time ahead of the event, and for their positive response and support of our work. Thank you!"
New England Bus Association learns about 
human trafficking

BOTL Director Annie Sovcik provided training materials to interested companies and individuals at her booth at NEBA.
Speaking at the New England Bus Association annual meeting in Westbrook, Connecticut in late June, Busing On The Lookout (BOTL) director Annie Sovcik educated the audience on human trafficking, its intersections with the bus industry and the BOTL training program to help combat this crime. 
 
"I hear this, and it makes me angry" said Mitch Guralnick, vice president of Pre-Owned Coach, and plenary session speaker at the conference. "Most of us in this room have kids. I think about my kids and I want this to end. We can all play a role in ending this horrible crime."
 
In attendance at this conference were long-distance bus companies, tour and charter bus operators, school bus contractors, manufacturers and suppliers operating in the northeast.
 
In addition to speaking, Sovcik also manned a BOTL booth. She felt there was widespread recognition on the part of the bus companies, manufacturers and suppliers that this was an important issue in their region, particularly given the millions of people taking buses between major metropolitan areas along the I-95 corridor from DC to Baltimore to Philadelphia to Trenton to Atlantic City to Newark to New York to Boston, etc. 
TAT invited to speak at Canada's Human Trafficking Investigators Course

Kylla Lanier (left), TAT deputy director, was one of the presenters at the Canadian Human Trafficking Investigators Course, along with Lt. Donna Gavin from Boston, head of Boston's sex trafficking unit.
Members of Canada's famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police listened to Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, present on Human Trafficking Pipeline Techniques on June 29 in Halifax, Nova Scotia at Canada's Human Trafficking Investigators Course. Using traffic-stop case studies and ways to successfully engage the trucking and busing industries to be extra eyes and ears for law enforcement on the nation's highways and roads, Lanier was able to demonstrate how to close loopholes traffickers often exploit.
 

"This is the first investigators' college in Halifax, and this is the first human trafficking training this province has received," commented Lanier. "They brought in top investigators from York and Montreal, as well as the United States. We hope that when we expand TAT into Canada, we will continue to build relationships with investigators and law enforcement officers around the nation to close loopholes to traffickers and exploiters." 
Upcoming Events

July 10 - Coach USA Managers Meeting, Chicago, IL, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting

July 12 - Polaris Project, Washington, DC, panelist at launch event of On-Ramps, Intersections, and Exit Routes: A Roadmap for Systems and Industries to Prevent and Disrupt Human Trafficking , Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presenting

July 12 - Ohio Trucking Association Safety Management Council, Columbus, OH, Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, presenting

July 13 - 60th Annual Rocky Mountain Regional Safety Rendezvous, Black Hawk, CO, the FDP (which will be open for tours) and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, attending

July 14 - The Expedite Association of North America Annual Conference, Cleveland, OH, Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, presenting

July 17 - GO Riteway Managers Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting

July 23 - Aurora Youth for Success, Aurora, CO, FDP and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, presenting

July 24-27 - Law enforcement trainings across Oregon, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Annika Huff, survivor-leader, presenting

July 25-27 - Cheyenne Frontier Days, Cheyenne, WY, FDP and Helen Van Dam, FDP director, attending

July 26-28 - Nexus Global Summit, New York City, NY, Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, presenting
Truckers Against Trafficking 
PO Box 816 | Englewood, CO 80151
tat.truckers@gmail.com

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