At the request of U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) provided online Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT) to more than 300 members of the law enforcement community on Thursday, August 13.
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.
This training focused on the greater Los Angeles area and included panel members made up of federal, state, and local human trafficking subject matter experts, including representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, DHS Homeland Security Investigations, FBI Human Trafficking Task Force, state and local prosecutors, and non-governmental organizations. A major goal of this training was to introduce course participants to Los Angeles-based resources they can depend on to assist with suspected human trafficking cases.
Also attending the training were dozens of congressional staff members and state and local law enforcement officers throughout California and 38 other states.
In late 2009, at the request of Department of Homeland Security 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.
“Today’s FLETC training session will improve local law enforcement agents’ ability to combat human trafficking and protect trafficking victims,” said Representative Roybal-Allard. “I oversee FLETC funding as DHS Appropriations Chairwoman, and I thank all those who are taking part in this training, which will complement the great work that the LA County - LA Regional Human Trafficking Force is doing to support investigative strategies to prevent trafficking, and to secure comprehensive services for survivors.”
While FLETC paused training earlier this year to enhance health and safety protocols to operate in a COVID-19 environment and prepare for the future, it provided an opportunity to review programs and trainings that would benefit from virtual training.
“During those three months we had to figure out this new training environment and what we needed to do to reconstitute our training,” said FLETC Deputy Director William Fallon. “We looked at some of the programs that we could potentially deliver virtually and this program, the human trafficking awareness training program, was one that we thought we could turn into a virtual platform and get it out to the masses and start delivering it to people around the country. We looked at that three month pause as an opportunity to do things like this.”
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, and California. Additional online training opportunities with law enforcement are scheduled in Massachusetts and Georgia later this year.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers
Office of Public Affairs