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Human Trafficking in the News
Colorado law requires human trafficking education for truckers
Truck drivers in the Mile-High State are being enlisted in the war against human trafficking. A new law passed by the Colorado legislature will require applicants for commercial driver's licenses in the state to go through a course educating them on how to spot signs of human traffickers and their victims. According a report in the Denver Post, lawmakers and advocacy groups hope that, with more trained eyes on the road, law enforcement will have a helping hand in stopping sex and labor trafficking. 
 
Truckers Against Trafficking measure heads to governor
The I-40 and I-35 corridor make Oklahoma a prime location for not only drug trafficking, but human trafficking. Truck stops are major targets for traffickers, which is why Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Steve Vaughan authored House Bill 2651 that received final approval in the Senate  Wednesday  and is moving on to the governor's office.
 
Attorney General's Office: Backpage.com pleads guilty 
to human trafficking in Texas
Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that his office's prosecution of Backpage.com has resulted in the company pleading guilty to human trafficking in Texas and its CEO Carl Ferrer pleading guilty to money laundering. This comes less than a week after the attorney general's office assisted the Department of Justice with permanently shutting down the website.  
TAT provides coalition build 
and law enforcement trainings in Minnesota

TAT Field Trainer Beth Jacobs provided training and tips on a victim-centered approach at the build.

Over the course of several days in mid-April, law enforcement officers, truckers, bus drivers and oil and gas representatives received training from Truckers  Against Trafficking on how to identify and report human trafficking as well as interact with human trafficking victims. Attendees at the various trainings heard from a survivor and sex trafficking experts and also had time to discuss how to work together to close loopholes to traffickers.
 
At the Minnesota coalition build in St. Paul, over 100 people toured the Freedom Drivers Project which was parked near the meeting location. A press conference before the meeting featured Kevin Otto of Otto Transfer and chairman of the Minnesota Trucking Association, Esther Goetsch of Truckers Against Trafficking and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Superintendent Drew Evans. The Minnesota BCA hosted the coalition build with TAT.
More than 100 people toured the FDP at the build.
 
During the four hour-training, over 80 attendees learned about the realities of human trafficking in Minnesota and across the country. They learned about TAT's many free training resources and specific pathways for each of them to spread the information and TAT's impact in their industries and departments. 
 
On feedback forms, one trucking company representative shared, "The information provided today will be shared at our company. Trucking touches so many different lives and locations, and this is a great connection."
Law enforcement trainings help officers recognize truckers, bus drivers as partners in the fight
against human trafficking

TAT Deputy Director Kylla Lanier talked about trafficker recruiting tactics at the law enforcement trainings.
On April 9, TAT presented to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance meeting in Portland, Oregon to help states see the importance of adopting the Iowa MVE model. In the audience were representatives from the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, law enforcement officers and various trucking organizations. Following the presentation by TAT Deputy Director Kylla Lanier, Captain Michael Krumm from the Michigan State Police made an "inspiring and compelling pitch" to people with connections/relationships in those states which haven't yet adopted the Iowa MVE to make human trafficking a priority and adopt the model. As a result of the training, five states not previously participating with IA MVE or TAT are showing interest and are receiving follow-up.
 
The following day, Lanier and TAT Field Trainer Tajuan McCarty trained 39 law enforcement officers and representatives from Western Trucking in Nashville, Tennessee. They provided a human trafficking 101, an overview of Truckers Against Trafficking's work and the Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement model currently adopted in part or whole by 35 states, case studies of interdiction and inspection stops that led to a human trafficking case and survivor testimony and training tips, including maintaining a victim-centered approach.
 
This same training was provided in Minnesota by Lanier and TAT Field Trainer Beth Jacobs a little over a week later to a variety of law enforcement, including the Minnesota State Police and members of their commercial vehicle unit. The feedback from trainings in both states was positive, with Minnesota agreeing to expand TAT wallet card distribution at all weigh stations and ports of entry throughout the state. Additionally, through the Minnesota State Police, there is now a pending event on the calendar to train school bus drivers in the state.
 
"Law enforcement officers are on the front lines of this fight against human trafficking, and TAT's work to both raise up an army of truckers to serve as the eyes and ears out on our nation's roadways, as well as to equip law enforcement with as many tools as we can to facilitate the investigation and apprehension of criminals and recovery of victims, is a critical element of TAT's mission," stated Lanier. "It's a privilege to work with these officers and deliver these trainings and materials to them to add to their arsenal as they continually seek to combat this heinous crime."
Certified TAT program available on internal learning management system  at Wheaton World Wide Moving/Bekins Van Lines

After hearing Laura Cyrus, TAT operations director, present at the annual conference of the American Moving and Storage Association in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Dennis Whitaker, safety director for Wheaton World Wide Moving/Bekins Van Lines, put a plan in action to make the certified TAT training program available on his company's Learning Management System (LMS). He and Amy Warner, senior associate in training and communication, have sent a memo to inform everyone, from agents and drivers to corporate staff, of the addition of this course on their platform, including the 26-minute training video, the quiz and the co-branded certificate. In that memo, they included a recent TAT in Action success story to show the impact of the training.
 
Whitaker commented, "The Bekins and Wheaton family of agents and drivers proudly supports the efforts of Truckers Against Trafficking against human trafficking. We are providing training to our network to assist in identifying and assisting endangered individuals."
Freedom Drivers Project gains fans at UPS in Virginia

Charlton Paul, UPS driver, helped distribute TAT materials at the FDP.
The Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) spent three days between UPS Freight and Small Pack in Richmond, VA, where over 500 employees toured the mobile exhibit. In addition to having the FDP in front of their offices and the Man-to-Man banners on display, Truckers Against Trafficking had the opportunity to partner in presentations with Barbara Amaya, an award-winning advocate, speaker, trainer, and author in a packed-out training. 
 
Helping TAT's Helen Van Dam staff the FDP at UPS were UPS All-Star Team Drivers and TAT Ambassadors Charlton Paul, Rick Brown and John McKown.
"UPS Freight has hauled the Freedom Drivers Project all across the country,"  said Helen Van Dam, FDP director, "so it was fantastic to finally bring it to their headquarters to meet  all the folks who've made those miles possible.  Employees really took the message to heart, taking materials for their friends and families as well as materials to share with others throughout UPS. Thank you for really owning our mission as your own; your impact has not gone unnoticed."

UPS Freight President Rich McArdle said, "At UPS, we're committed to giving back to the communities where we work and live. It's an honor to host the Freedom Drivers Project at our headquarters. The more people we can educate about what to do when they suspect human trafficking, the more we can make a difference in our communities."
Partnering with TAT to Meet Corporate Social Responsibility Goals

Caring for people and the environment isn't just the responsibility of individuals ... it's up to organizations and companies as well to share in that work.  For  corporate social responsibility to have a national and international impact, it will take everyone doing their part. Partnering with TAT provides a way to help meet at least one of the sustainable development goals set for companies by the United Nations - that of caring for people. Email TAT at tat.truckers@gmail.com to learn more about how you can work with us on the development and implementation of company policy to fight human trafficking.


Upcoming Events

May 5 - Michigan Chapter of National Postal Contractors meeting, Detroit, MI, Laura Cyrus, operations director, presenting

May 12 - Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, Hershey, PA, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting

May 16 - TA/Petro Leadership Expo, Sandusky, OH, Esther Goetsch, coalition build specialist, and Beth Jacobs, TAT field trainer, presenting

May 16 North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, Fargo, ND, Ashley Smith, oil and gas specialist, presenting

May 26 - Protective 500 Event, Indianapolis, IN, Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presenting
Truckers Against Trafficking 
PO Box 816 | Englewood, CO 80151
tat.truckers@gmail.com

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