The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) of the Michigan State Police has launched a new state initiative to involve the trucking industry in its fight against human trafficking.
Captain Michael Krumm, commander of the CVED, said a lot of human trafficking activity takes place in truck stops and rest areas. So "as the eyes and ears of the nation's highways," the trucking industry is in a good position to help.
"Traffickers will utilize various truck stops to try to sell the girls and the young boys that they will have in their group," Krumm said.
The CVED has joined forces with with Truckers against Trafficking (TAT), a non-profit organization that has developed training materials to raise awareness in the trucking industry about human trafficking,
CVED is providing training to truck drivers and travel plaza managers to spot signs of human trafficking. "And then all we're asking them to do is report what they see," said Krumm. We "give them a resource to make a phone call to get law enforcement involved and possibly save some young people's lives."
Krumm said CVED is distributing 17,000 TAT wallet cards and other materials to truck drivers, trucking companies, and rest stop managers with a hot-line number to report suspicious activity. It is also providing TAT posters to the Michigan Department of Transportation to place in all Michigan rest areas and welcome centers.
-- Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom