Nearly 250 State, Local, and Tribal Officers registered to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) distance learning online Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT) on Monday, Dec. 14.
This training focused on the state of Alaska and included a panel of federal, state, and local human trafficking subject matter experts, including representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, , FBI Human Trafficking Task Force, state and local prosecutors, and non-governmental organizations. A major goal of the training was to introduce law enforcement to Alaska-based resources they can depend on to assist with suspected human-trafficking cases.
In his opening remarks, FLETC Assistant Director Darren Cruzan, National Capital Region, prepared the students for the virtual training and spoke about the goal of the training and diverse panel. “This training will give you some tools to help you recognize human trafficking,” said Cruzan. “This class will connect you to your regional subject matter experts, so when you encounter something that looks like possible human trafficking, you will have local points of contact you can call,” Cruzan added.
Human trafficking is a crime involving the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel an individual into labor servitude or commercial sexual exploitation. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality.
The virtual HTAT program provides participants an in-depth understanding of current indicators that law enforcement may observe in industries known for human trafficking. The training consists of case studies, videos, and student-centered learning activities to enhance the learning experience. The training is online, creating a safe and secure environment with built-in social distancing.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska provided a video message to the class, stressing the importance of human trafficking awareness training and emphasizing the important role of law enforcement.
“Human trafficking is a sickening and horrible crime. We’ve made significant progress through a number of legislative efforts in combatting this issue, but as you know, particularly in Alaska, we continue to see staggering rates of trafficking,” said Senator Murkowski. “Our law enforcement is tasked with addressing this terrible crime—they are truly on the front lines and I commend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers for better preparing Alaska’s officers to take on the human traffickers. Through concentrated efforts and collaboration at all levels—local, state, and federal—I believe together we can put an end to human trafficking.”
In late 2009, at the request of DHS leadership, FLETC began developing training on the signs and indicators of human trafficking. In 2015, FLETC incorporated human trafficking awareness training into its basic programs for all new federal law enforcement officers and agents. In 2019, FLETC completed development of its introductory HTAT program.
Since 2019, FLETC has delivered the HTAT to state, local and tribal law enforcement in New Mexico, South Dakota, Washington state, Nebraska, New Jersey, Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Alaska, with Arkansas scheduled for an online training opportunity early next year.
FLETC provides career-long training to law enforcement professionals to help them fulfill their responsibilities safely and proficiently. This includes distance-learning program eFLETC and the personnel on staff dedicated to supporting the eFLETC mission and FLETC training. Through strategic partnerships, FLETC prepares the federal law enforcement community to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.
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