Jan. 19–LANSING — Michigan State Police Motor Carrier officers are teaming up with officers from neighboring states next week to raise awareness of human trafficking during National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
From Jan. 22-26, MSP officers will join their colleagues in the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police and Indiana State Police, along with the organization Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), to educate motorists about the signs of human trafficking and to enforce laws that crack down on traffickers.
“The goal of this week-long, multi-state human trafficking initiative is to raise awareness and educate those individuals in positions to observe human trafficking taking place, such as commercial motor vehicle drivers, public transportation companies, rest area attendants and truck stop employees,” said Capt. Michael Krumm, commander of the MSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. “These individuals are a force multiplier that can act as the eyes and ears of Michigan’s highways.”
“Michigan State Police Motor Carrier officers based out of Ionia will be out in force for this week-long initiative,” MC Lt. Brad Cushman of the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division — Sixth District. “The focus will be on educating and raising awareness on signs to look for that indicate possible human trafficking and how to report them.”
The program is being praised by Jennifer Butler, executive director of Relief After Violent Encounter-Ionia/Montcalm, Inc., which provides free and confidential services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, including human trafficking.
“We are very excited for this initiative to take place. Although human trafficking and domestic violence are not the same, we know the tactics traffickers use to control and intimidate victims are very similar to those of the perpetrators in the cycle of domestic violence,” Butler said. “As more agencies come together to form a collaborative and interdisciplinary team of resources, the services provided to all victims only grows stronger and will make resources more readily available to victims through partner contacts.”
The MSP first partnered with TAT in 2015, and has since been recognized as a national leader in human trafficking awareness and education. For more information about TAT, visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org.
To report human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or text BeFree to 233733.
(c)2018 Ionia Sentinel-Standard, Mich.
Visit Ionia Sentinel-Standard, Mich. at www.sentinel-standard.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.