INDIANAPOLIS — Troopers and motor carrier inspectors with the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Indiana State Police joined neighboring states to raise awareness about human trafficking for the entire month of February. The Indiana State Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Michigan State Police take the crime of human trafficking seriously and will continue to educate the public and enforce laws that crack down on traffickers.
The goal of the monthlong Tri-State Human Trafficking Initiative was to train and educate those in a position to see human trafficking taking place, such as motor vehicle drivers, public transportation companies, rest area attendants and truck stop employees. These individuals can act as the eyes and ears of Indiana’s highways and by teaching them the signs of human trafficking and how to report it, they are yet another resource to protect humans from trafficking and exploitation.
Over the month of February, the three states distributed more than 17,000 materials that included wallet cards and brochures. They conducted 180 educational events that reached 2,446 people.
“The terrible crime of human trafficking often goes unnoticed and unreported,” said Captain Jon Smithers of the Indiana State Police. “Educating those most likely to come in contact with these individuals is one way to combat those who condone human trafficking and empower potential victims. Through our efforts with our law enforcement partners from other states we will continue to disseminate information and hopefully save lives.”
To report a trafficking tip, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center, (888) 373-7888, or text BeFree to 233733. The toll-free number is available anywhere in the U.S., 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline received calls from Indiana regarding 243 potential human trafficking cases in 2015, making Indiana the 27th highest total for potential cases reported among the states.
To learn more about human trafficking or request a presentation for your group, business or organization, contact the Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, (317) 615-7373.