Transportation agencies target human trafficking

We’ve already seen more efforts being made in our state to help prevent people from getting involved in human trafficking.
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 3:45 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 6:16 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - January is human trafficking awareness month.

We’ve already seen more efforts being made in Louisiana to help prevent people from getting involved in human trafficking.

Transportation agencies in the Capital Region are doing more to bring awareness to human trafficking in the Capital Region.

“People probably don’t realize the magnitude of what’s going on because a lot of this is going on when people are sleeping,” said Matthew Boudreaux, public information officer for the Office of Motor Vehicles.

“We have to understand that I-10 and I-12 are corridors for trafficking and with the Greyhound bus station just down the street it is so easy to move children throughout the city of Baton Rouge at our bus terminal,” said Willie Brooks, who is in charge of training CATS bus drivers on human trafficking awareness.

“They think that it’s something that they just see on TV, but what confirmed to me that it was real was on April 3, 2019, a Baker citizen was arrested for human trafficking, not only once but three times. I live in Baker, so with CATS running through Baker, it just throws up red flags for me,” explained Brooks.

The Office of Motor Vehicles launched its own initiative to stop trafficking with the help of commercial truck drivers.

“They’re out late. They are at truck stops or restaurants or hotels when the typical person who works nine to five doesn’t see it,” noted Boudreaux.

The goal for both campaigns is for drivers to become educated enough to say something when they suspect trafficking.

“There’s some girl, some child, that’s in your neighborhood, maybe on your street, that’s waiting on you to get educated on human trafficking so you can possibly save their life. So, get educated so we can start saving kids’ lives,” added Brooks.

You can always reach out to the national human trafficking hotline if you or someone you know needs help.

That number is (888) 373-7888.

You can also text “BeFree” to 233733.

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