More than 160 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers registered to attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers’ (FLETC) online Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT) on Wednesday, May 25. While the training primarily focused on Houston law enforcement, the class included officers from various law enforcement agencies in 37 states.
FLETC Assistant Director for Technical Training Operations Kai Munshi 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, which officially stood up in October 2020, oversees the DHS mission to combat human trafficking and the importation of goods produced with forced labor.
"Law enforcement officers are crucial to this fight in being able to recognize the signs of human trafficking and also provide a victim-centered approach when interacting with them,” said U.S. Representative Michel McCaul (TX-10). “It is critical for us to address the problem of human trafficking which operates in the shadows. Events like these bring this dark topic to the light."
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 included a panel of federal, state, and local human trafficking subject matter experts, including Texas 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 Texas 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 incorporated 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 early 2020, FLETC has delivered the HTAT to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers and agents in New Mexico, Massachusetts, Washington state, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Nevada.
FLETC provides career-long training to law enforcement professionals to help them fulfill their responsibilities safely and proficiently. Through strategic partnerships, FLETC prepares the federal law enforcement community to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and institutions.
FLETC Assistant Director for Technical Training Operations Kai Munshi provided opening remarks virtually from the FLETC training delivery point, on May 25, 2022, in Glynco, Georgia. (FLETC/Rob Gwin)
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