Volume 12 | Issue 10
October 2021
Human trafficking in the news
TAT celebrates National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
At Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), truck drivers are celebrated year-round, but especially during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Truck drivers, a number of whom have won TAT’s Harriet Tubman Award, compose an enormous part of a mobile army of transportation professionals recognizing and reporting human trafficking. In addition, they respond to every national and local emergency by moving supplies, equipment, goods and whatever is needed from coast to coast. They regularly provide the stock for shelves in all stores, deliver our packages and keep businesses running and individuals supplied with all we need.

These men and women, many of whom have had several careers in their lives and have experience and skills in multiple fields, have not only expanded the depth and breadth of TAT’s endeavors through making calls to law enforcement when they’ve suspected trafficking, resulting in the recovery of survivors and the arrest of perpetrators, but they’ve also:

  • Transported the Freedom Drivers Project to events, been trained to set it up and tear it down at events, as well as volunteered at those events, talking to people who tour it
  • Made presentations at myriad venues across the United States through the TAT Ambassador Program
  • Taken initiative and created displays and videos to move their fellow drivers and companies to implement TAT training
  • Participated in TAT executive leadership, as a TAT board member, like Antoine Sadler, and as TAT Advisory Committee members, like Kellylyn McLaughlin and Arian Taylor

This year, for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Sept. 12-18, TAT dedicated the entire week on social media to recognize and appreciate truckers and gave away more than 30 prizes, including Bluetooth headphones from Blue Tiger, jackets from Bandag/Bridgestone, Visa and Subway cards from TAT and TAT t-shirts. Those posts received over 100,000 engagements throughout the week, with appreciative comments like:
“Thank God for all truck drivers that are putting their lives on the line for others. We love y’all and are praying for your safety.”
“Thank you; all you folks do a job that’s difficult and, at times, dangerous. Please stay safe out there.”
“I thank truckers every day. Without you, we would have nothing. Thank you, Truckers, and your families. I know you miss your loved ones, but I bet you’re doing it for us. God bless; drive safe.”
Ohio State Highway Patrol named 2021 TAT Champion Award
winner in the State Agency Category
Receiving the TAT Champion Award for OSHP were (L to R) Staff A Lieutenant Reimer, Captain Ray Martin and MCEIS Brandon Evans.
“When we were considering the recipient for the state agency category of our TAT Champion Award, we wanted to honor one of our very first law enforcement partners who took on the TAT mission and made it their own,” Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, stated in her presentation remarks at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Annual Conference in Wilmington, Delaware at the end of August.

She continued, “Under the initial inspired leadership of Captain Mike Crispin, now Chief of the Whitehall Police, followed by the leadership of Captain Dave Allwine, and now through the continued partnership with Captain Ray Martin, we are excited to announce that the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) Motor Carrier Enforcement Division is the recipient of the 2021 TAT Champion Award in the State Agency Category.”
OSHP was an early adopter of TAT’s Iowa MVE Model. They have continued to maintain their full adoption of the six core elements. Beyond that, Ohio became the first state in the country to require anti-trafficking training to be added to the curriculum at CDL schools throughout their state. They hosted TAT’s Freedom Drivers Project at their state fair and staffed it with officers in order to raise awareness about human trafficking.

In addition to creating a transportation coalition to combat trafficking in Ohio, which included trucking, transit, taxis and truck stops, resulting in widespread TAT training across modes, Chief Crispen appears in TAT’s law enforcement video, educating his fellow officers about the indicators of human trafficking.

Ohio was among the original three states to have a joint human trafficking awareness operation every January, and OSHP continues to participate in what has become a week-long Quad-State human trafficking initiative alongside Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.

TAT team members have been hosted at OSHP headquarters to provide training to their officers. OSHP and TAT have participated in and presented at the annual human trafficking conference in Ohio that is sponsored by members of the state senate.

OSHP also uses asset forfeiture funds to pay for TAT materials which they use throughout their state, and they also collect data on interdiction stops that turn into human trafficking cases.
Human trafficking prevention now a part
of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance agenda
The annual conference and exhibition of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) also included the first in-person meeting of CVSA’s Human Trafficking Prevention Program.

Chairing the program are Chief David Lorenzen, director of the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement of the Iowa Department of Transportation; Lt. Col Mike Krumm of the Michigan State Patrol; Jake Elvorita, CVSA liaison; and Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director.

“The collaboration amongst the states, Canada and Mexico is unprecedented as we join together to fight human trafficking through the commercial vehicle industry,” Krumm said. “Without the defined focus of groups like Truckers Against Trafficking and the leadership of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance this could not have been possible. “

Krumm and Lanier both mentioned how exciting it was to see the national support around the meeting and the plans for a three-day commercial vehicle initiative this coming January, focused on raising awareness to help fight human trafficking. Canada will follow suit with their event in February.

At the meeting, a number of state agencies shared their best practices of how they are spreading the word about human trafficking and TAT.
“What Chief Lorenzen started in Iowa (with the Iowa MVE Model) several years ago has now grown to a national program,” concluded Krumm.
Jack Elvorita (with microphone), CVSA liaison, provided remarks at the first in-person meeting of the CVSA’s Human Trafficking Prevention Program. Also seated at the head table (L to R) are Louie Greek, TAT training specialist; Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director: Chief David Lorenzen, director of the OMVE of the Iowa DOT; and Lt. Col. Mike Krumm of the Michigan State Patrol.
BOTL coordinates session on human trafficking
for 2021 National Transportation in Indian Country Conference
Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) had the opportunity at the end of September to help the Native American community gain a better understanding of human trafficking and how it impacts tribal communities in the United States.

At the virtual National Transportation in Indian Country Conference (NTICC), BOTL staff organized a session, called Tribal Transit on the Lookout to Combat Human Trafficking, identified and coordinated the panelists, and moderated/presented on the panel. The session provided basic information about human trafficking, including the crime’s connection to certain vulnerability factors and other issues of importance to tribal communities. Attendees learned from tribal transit managers about their anti-trafficking efforts and heard insights from a survivor services/victim advocate perspective on ways in which transit employees may be coming into contact with human trafficking victims and how they can make a difference. Additionally, attendees learned about free resources they could take back with them to train their drivers and other employees on how to recognize and report signs of trafficking they may be seeing in the course of their everyday jobs.

Speaking at the session were:
  • Rebecca Tahchawwickah, Safety Coordinator/Transit Asset Management, Comanche Nation Transit 
  • Genevieve Chavez, Shelane Rosales, and Cindy Charley; First Nations Community Healthsource EAST Program, Albuquerque, NM
  • Carolyn DeFord-Eden, Human Trafficking Project Coordinator/MMIWP Advocate at the Community Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, Puyallup Tribe of Indians 
  • Annie Sovcik, Director of Busing on the Lookout, Truckers Against Trafficking 

NTICC is the one-stop-shop transportation conference for tribes, by tribes. It offers access to relevant training and an opportunity for Tribal transportation professionals to engage with federal officials and their Tribal transportation peers regarding Tribal transportation issues and challenges.

"Human trafficking is a major issue of concern for tribal communities throughout the United States,” said Neil Rodriguez, member of the conference planning committee and Tribal Transit Program manager for the National Rural Transit Assistance Program, “and ensuring that transit providers are aware of the issue and know the steps they can take to respond to it is critical to the safety and wellbeing of those communities."
Trafficking victims can and do come from all racial and ethnic groups. In a review of 267 cases in Alameda County, CA, 66 percent of sexually exploited minors were African American. The more we know about what it really looks like, the better we’ll be able to recognize a victim and make the call. Race does play a role.

Source: California Child Welfare Council
October 2021 Calendar of Events
Sept. 28-Oct. 1 – Western States Information Network Conference, Sacramento, CA, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting
Oct. 1 – Fleet Safety Virtual Conference, Canada, Liz Williamson, TAT training specialist and survivor-advocate, presenting
Oct. 3-5 – Canadian Trucking Alliance Conference virtual, Liz Williamson, TAT training specialist and survivor-advocate, presenting
Oct. 3-5 – New Mexico Oil and Gas Association Annual Meeting, Ashley Smith, TAT energy operations director, manning booth
Oct. 4 – FDP at UPS, Goodyear, AZ, Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, presenting
Oct. 6 – Ohio School Safety Summit, virtual, Lexi Higgins, BOTL program specialist, presenting
Oct. 7 – Coalition Build with FDP, Boise, ID, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, and Louis Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
Oct. 7 – Greater New Jersey Motorcoach Association, Atlantic City, NJ, Lexi Higgins, BOTL program specialist
Oct. 7 – National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools Super Regional Meeting, Tulsa, OK, Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presenting
Oct. 11-13 – National Tank Truck Carriers Annual Conference, Dallas, TX, Louie Greek, TAT training specialist, presenting
Oct. 14 – Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, Canada, Liz Williamson, TAT training specialist and survivor-advocate, presenting
Oct. 16 – New York School Bus Contractors Association Annual Conference, NYC, NY, Lexi Higgins, BOTL program specialist, presenting
Oct. 19-20 – Tennessee Public Transportation Association Conference, Cool Springs, TN, Annie Sovcik, BOTL director, presenting
Oct. 20-22 – 3PL Xtend with the Transportation Intermediaries Association, San Antonio, TX, Laura Cyrus, Corporate Engagement director, presenting
Oct. 21 – Alabama Law Enforcement Summit, Montgomery, AL, Kylla Lanier, TAT deputy director, presenting
Oct. 24-26 – FDP at American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition, Nashville, TN, Kendis Paris, TAT executive director, presenting and Brandy Belton, FDP director, and Susan Dold, TAT systems administrator, attending
Thank you to our copper level and above individual donors!
Jonathan and Jill Lim, Bob Paris, Andy and Karin Larsen, Diane Reed, Douglas Kegler
Scott and Terry Koch, Anna McCoy, Anne & Merlin Namuth
Mark and Julie Mihevc, Chris Ripani, Stephanie Guindy, Amy Reitmar, Runbeck/Mowat Fund
George Cravens, Patti Gillette, Linda Burtwistle, Ken Johnson, Mike and Karen Kuykendall, Kent Marshall, Don Blake, Scott Perry, Grinnell Family, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Turner, Amber Throckmorton, Dan and Emily Dykstra, Michael Nelson, Jacqueline Daves, Nicholas and Jane Nagel, Tod Kroon, Lou and Rhonda Leeburg, Charlton & Laura Wimberly