|Attorney General Derek Schmidt speaks to the media about the importance of public awareness in fighting human trafficking along with Tom Whitaker of the Kansas Motor Carriers Association and Esther Goetsch of Truckers Against Trafficking.
TOPEKA – (April 7, 2016) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced a new partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and the Kansas Motor Carriers Association (KMCA) to raise awareness and work to combat sex trafficking in Kansas.
Schmidt and representatives from the Kansas Highway Patrol, TAT and the KMCA held a news conference this morning announcing this new partnership. The national organization was in Topeka to participate in a collaborative training event with law enforcement hosted by Schmidt’s office.
“Through this new partnership, we will continue to train local law enforcement and educate the trucking industry about the signs of human trafficking and how to report it,” Schmidt said. “By combining forces with the trucking industry, we hope to raise awareness of sex trafficking that occurs along our Kansas roads and highways. The public can also assist by reporting suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s hotline at 888-3737-888.”
As part of the new partnership, the Freedom Drivers Project, a 48-foot mobile exhibit designed to educate citizens about human trafficking, was on hand for tours. This is the first time TAT has brought the mobile exhibit to Kansas.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with the Kansas Attorney General's Office and the Kansas Motor Carriers Association to bring together key trucking industry stakeholders alongside local, state and federal law enforcement in an effort to close loopholes to traffickers,” said Esther Goetsch, Coalition Build Specialist with Truckers Against Trafficking. “As the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways, truckers and truck stop employees are in a strategic position to report crimes as they are taking place and can help law enforcement in recovering victims and having traffickers arrested.”
In 2009, TAT was created as a way to bring education, awareness and empowerment to truck drivers across the nation. Through webinars, trainings and presentations, truckers are taught the signs of human trafficking so they can be vigilant eyes and ears for law enforcement while on the road.
The KMCA provides progressive, organized leadership that assists the transportation industry in Kansas to improve its services to the public. With its membership of more than 900 companies, representing all types of motor carrier operations and allied enterprises, KMCA is able to speak with authority as the voice of the transportation industry.
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. Signs of possible human trafficking can be found on the attorney general’s website at http://1.usa.gov/1VU0oNY.