Sex traffickers will often transport their victims from city-to-city or even state-to-state. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is hosting training provided by Truckers Against Trafficking for truckers and truck stop personnel on how to spot trafficking situations and how to respond when they do.
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans said, “We applaud the Minnesota trucking community for stepping up to do this. This partnership that we are forming with them today is going to be critical to our efforts across Minnesota for the group of law enforcement that you see here today that is working day in and day out to eradicate this problem.”
Esther Goetsch with Truckers Against Trafficking said the organization so far has trained 500,000 truckers because, “At any given time there are more truck drivers out on the roads than there are law enforcement officers. They are trained to be vigilant and along with truck stop employees, bus terminal employees, and bus drivers they are critical in this fight.
Chair of the Minnesota Truckers Association Kevin Otto is also a longtime truck driver and co-owner of Otto Transfer. He explained, “Often in my travels a woman would approach me and ask if I was looking for love. After I would say no I would think to myself, ‘What a horrible, cunning way to whitewash a sex crime.'”
Otto says he learned about TAT and the training program at an industry event and, “I was relieved to know that, finally, truckers have a way to assist trafficking victims.”
About 100 people connected to the trucking industry and law enforcement are attending the training Tuesday.