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Beshear, Truckers Against Trafficking Coalition Release Partnership Mission to Stop Human Trafficking

Beshear, Truckers Against Trafficking Coalition Release Partnership Mission to Stop Human Trafficking

Bill Stephens

September 20th, 2016

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NEWS RELEASE

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2016) – Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today that his office is partnering with the Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) Coalition to find ways to offer more training to Kentucky commercial drivers and truck stop employees in recognizing and reporting human trafficking.

A main goal of the coalition, Beshear said, is to offer training to all new drivers seeking a commercial driver’s license.

He said this would be a “far-reaching” step to help prevent human trafficking across Kentucky.

“Part of my mission as AG is to protect and seek justice for victims of abuse, including individuals being sold for sex or labor.” Beshear said. “Whether it’s the trucking industry, the faith based community or other law enforcement agencies we must work together to help all Kentuckians recognize the signs of human trafficking.”

The TAT coalition consists of law enforcement and members of the trucking industry. Its mission is to collaborate to close loopholes to traffickers who exploit victims and legitimate businesses for criminal gain.

“The energy and passion behind combating human trafficking in the state of Kentucky is strong,” said Kendis Paris, executive director of TAT. “It is critical that industry and law enforcement continue to work together in an effort to close loopholes to traffickers, and TAT is thrilled to see the KTA and the AG’s office come together around this cause.”

“The Kentucky Trucking Association, along with our members, is proud to support the Kentucky AG’s office and Truckers Against Trafficking in their efforts to help remove victims from their captives,” said Melissa Zink with the Kentucky Trucking Association. “Increasing awareness of human trafficking across our great Commonwealth is half the battle. We look forward to all our members taking the pledge to train and educate their professional drivers. With the partnership between these great organizations, we can make Kentucky a less desirable state in which to target our children.”

The AG’s Office, TAT and the Kentucky Trucking Association met in August and just released its goals toward achieving its mission.

Stakeholders at the meeting included truck stop general managers, trucking industry representatives, sheriffs’ offices, police departments, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport security, the United States Attorney’s Office and Catholic Charities.

According to the TAT report, one truck stop general manager who attended the August meeting recently reported a potential human trafficking case at his business. The case is currently being investigated by the AG’s office and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement.

Other goals of the TAT coalition include:

  • Introduce truck stop owners and general managers to their local law enforcement officers in order to establish a local contact protocol.
  • Motivate more trucking companies to train drivers as a result of the August meeting.
  • Motivate truck stops to train employees and become points of distribution for TAT materials.
  • Provide victim-centered law enforcement training on human trafficking by local law enforcement leaders and have survivors sharing their stories.
  • Assist in undercover investigations conducted between law enforcement agencies and industry stakeholders.

Working with the trucking industry is critical to help Kentucky overcome the common misconception of what trafficking looks like, Beshear said.

Beshear’s office is working with many occupations and professions that may come into contact with human trafficking – the trucking industry, hotel and hospitality industry, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, local health department clinical workers, inspectors and environmentalists.

His office is also partnering with the faith based community.

The Kentucky Baptist Convention recently began collaborating with the AG’s office on implementing a policy to require any hotel that does business with the convention to train its employees on identifying and reporting human trafficking.

 

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