More than 140 federal, state, and local officers registered to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers’ (FLETC) online Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT) on Thursday, October 21. While the training primarily focused on New York law enforcement, the class included officers from various law enforcement agencies in 34 states, as well as staff from nearly 20 congressional offices.
FLETC Deputy Director William Fallon provided opening remarks, and leadership from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) followed to introduce the Center as a resource to law enforcement. CCHT, officially stood-up in October 2020, oversees the DHS mission to combat human trafficking and the importation of goods produced with forced labor.
“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights causes of our time. I am fully committed to working with FLETC and my colleagues in the Senate to combat and put an end to this modern day slavery, and help survivors rebuild their lives,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “I am proud to work on legislation that would enhance services for victims, aid efforts at restitution, help law enforcement improve human trafficking reporting and investigation, and expunge the non-violent criminal convictions and arrests of trafficking survivors who were forced by their captors to break the law. Together we can end this scourge and strengthen our neighborhoods.”
The virtual HTAT program provides participants an in-depth understanding of current indicators 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.
The training was presented by FLETC instructors from both the Charleston and Glynco training delivery points. They worked with FLETC’s State, Local and Tribal Division, the eFLETC team, and FLETC- Cheltenham Training Management to deliver the virtual training.
The training included a panel of federal, state, and local human trafficking subject matter experts, including New York representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigations, local law enforcement, state and local prosecutors, and non-governmental organizations (NGO). This part of the instruction introduced law enforcement to New York-based resources they can depend on to assist with suspected human-trafficking cases.
FLETC began developing training on the signs and indicators of human trafficking in late 2009. In 2015, FLETC began incorporating human-trafficking awareness training into its basic programs for all new federal law enforcement officers and agents. In 2019, FLETC completed the development of its introductory HTAT program.
Since 2019, FLETC has delivered the HTAT to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers and agents in New Mexico, South Dakota, Washington state, Nebraska, New Jersey, Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Nevada.
“Human trafficking is nothing short of modern-day slavery, and I applaud the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers for hosting this important training seminar for New York’s law enforcement community,” said U.S. Representative John Katko (R-NY-24), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. “It will take strong cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement to rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice. I know our officers are up to the task. Working together, we can stop human trafficking and save innocent lives.”
FLETC provides career-long training to law enforcement professionals to help them fulfill their responsibilities safely and proficiently. This includes the eFLETC online learning platform, and the staff dedicated to supporting the FLETC training mission. Through strategic partnerships, FLETC prepares the federal law enforcement community to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.
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