The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) provided an online Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT) to more than 100 members of the Georgia law enforcement community on Wednesday, Oct. 14. FLETC Deputy Director William Fallon provided opening remarks for the virtual training and prepared the students. “A little bit about the class – the first part focuses on indicators that you as police officers and law enforcement officials should be aware of and should be able to spot,” said Fallon. “In the second half of the course we developed a panel session where we bring together experts from both federal, state, and local entities.” This training was focused on the state of Georgia and included a panel of federal, state, and local human trafficking subject matter experts, including representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Investigations, 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 Georgia-based resources they can depend on to assist with suspected human-trafficking cases. 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. Georgia leaders, including First Lady Marty Kemp, U.S. Senator David Perdue, and U.S. Representative Earl L. “Buddy” Carter, provided messages to the class, stressing the importance of human trafficking awareness training and emphasizing their commitment to fighting it. “Law enforcement officers sit on the front lines in our fight against human trafficking,” said Kemp. “My thanks go out to those who participated in this important training and to all who work hard each and every day to serve and protect communities across the state. We are in this fight together, and it’s together that we will end this criminal enterprise once and for all.” “All of America’s law enforcement deserves our thanks each and every day,” echoed Carter. “I especially want to thank the law enforcement working to end the disgusting practice of human trafficking. Human Trafficking is a serious concern in Georgia, and especially in the First District with our ports and the I-95 corridor. I am committed to doing anything I can to help end human trafficking, and I am grateful for FLETC’s dedication to this issue.” “Georgia has taken a strong stance against human trafficking, and our efforts are making a real difference,” added Perdue. “We need all hands on deck to protect our most vulnerable and bring perpetrators to justice. I want to personally thank each of the officers who participated in today’s training seminar. Working together, we can put human traffickers out of business in Georgia.” 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, and Georgia, with Alaska scheduled for an online training opportunity in December. 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 our values.
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