PHOENIX, January 22, 2018 – HELP Inc., the non-profit provider of PrePass services, joined Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), the Arizona Trucking Association and PrePass carrier Albertsons, Inc. at a January 17 Phoenix press event to announce a new statewide partnership to help rescue victims of human trafficking.
TAT was on hand with its Freedom Drivers Project, the first-of-its-kind mobile exhibit designed to help educate the public and members of the trucking industry about the realities of human trafficking and how the trucking industry can combat it. The event was planned in recognition of January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
In 2015, AG Brnovich created a unit dedicated solely to combating sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Arizona. Attorneys have investigated more than 75 defendants with ties to sex trafficking, with approximately 30 currently open cases involving sexual exploitation of minors. In just the first six months of 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received over 200 tips about human trafficking incidents in Arizona.
The Attorney General’s Office will donate the funds to help pay for rescue stickers that will be placed on more than 25,000 semi-trucks traveling across the state. The window sticker states, “Do You Need Help?” and lists the National Human Trafficking Hotline or victims can text “HELP” to 233-733 (Be Free).
HELP President & CEO Karen Rasmussen briefly spoke about the assistance that HELP, a platinum sponsor of TAT, is providing to raise awareness among the more than 57,000 fleets that utilize HELP’s PrePass system.
“HELP’s goal is not to duplicate work that others are doing to raise awareness of the issue and of TAT training, but rather to augment it,” says Rasmussen. “We are doing this through social media posts and blogs that focus on the hundreds of thousands of drivers that utilize PrePass, as well as the distribution of TAT materials in driver areas at weigh stations where allowed.”
Truckers Against Trafficking partners with many law enforcement agencies across the country in training truck drivers to recognize and report instances of human trafficking. Currently, 23 of the 32 states that deploy HELP’s PrePass system are actively engaged with TAT. Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Washington and Ohio also mandate that entry-level CDL holders receive TAT training.
Rasmussen and Immediate Past Chairman Dave Lorenzen, Chief of Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement, are members of the TAT Board of Directors. Also attending the press event was Collin Stewart, President of Arizona-based Stewart Transport, who serves as Arizona’s private sector representative to the HELP Board of Directors and is a member of the Executive Committee.
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