MADISON (WKOW) — There are now even more eyes on Wisconsin highways looking out for victims of human trafficking.
Many of those new watchdogs are behind the wheel or the register. The state is now recruiting truckers and businesses to help stop trafficking.
Representatives from the trucking and bus industries met with law enforcement in Madison to talk about ways to spot and stop these crimes in our state.
“Not to report is almost as bad as the crime itself. We’re talking about human lives, talking about exploitation of children, talking about exploitation of women, men, it’s not gender specific. It hits all aspects, in particular we’re talking about the most vulnerable,” said Neal Kedzie, with Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association.
State officials say officers, troopers and deputies from 25 jurisdictions were at a training Thursday at Harley-Davidson of Madison.
This is part of an ongoing effort by the Wisconsin Department of Justice to track down more human trafficking crimes. The Truckers Against Trafficking group helped train nearly 100 people to identify and report sex trafficking. The group was asked to educate employees and given resources.
“The Wisconsin business community is a strong partner in the fight against human trafficking,” said Attorney General Schimel in a statement. “Law enforcement and industries most likely to come across victims stand united in the belief that victims deserve protection and traffickers are not welcome in this state. When people know what to look for and how to report signs of trafficking, we can turn the tables on those who seek to exploit our people and businesses through human trafficking crimes. Traffickers and those who buy sex need to worry about getting caught. More and more people know what to look for and are willing to make a call to law enforcement to stop this victimization.”
The DOJ is also working with hotels, casinos, mall security, community groups and criminal justice partners to increase awareness of sex trafficking.