This webinar was sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation’s Florida Transit Safety and Operations Network (FTSON).
October 28, 2020 @ 2:00 – 3:30pm (ET)
About this Webinar:
This webinar was designed with the goals of informing transit agency employees of potential signs of human trafficking, and empowering them with meaningful responses to join the fight against human trafficking. Front line employees have distinct unique opportunities to identify suspicious activity that other members of the community may not ever be aware of. This webinar will include presentations from several subject matter experts who will present some background information on human trafficking including the role that public transit has played in some real world examples, details of specific local initiatives and training programs, and an overview of victim services that are available throughout Florida. The webinar will conclude with a specific focus on how transit employees can help in the fight against human trafficking.
Moderators: Paul Goyette and Jodi Godfrey, CUTR
Presenters: Kristen Joyner, KJ Backpack, LLC; Alan Wilkett, Retired, Pasco County Sheriff; Pastor Bill Losasso, Florida Dream Center; Adriana Rodriquez, PSTA; and Rob Carey, LYNX
Please take a few moments to complete the evaluation.
Resources shared during the webinar:
- Florida Dream Center
- Polaris Project
- National Pledge by Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking
- BOTL Trailer
- National Human Trafficking Human Trafficking Hotline
- Truckers Against Trafficking: BOTL
- USDOT Congressional Report: USDOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking
- National RTAP eLearning
Unanswered Q&A During Live Event
Responses from the presenters are provided with each question.
- We have Project Safe Place for youth in trouble or danger. Is there a similar program for older victims? www.A21.org
- What is the % of prosecutions with these types of cases? No real way to tell, but definitely under prosecuted and under-reported.
- I’m not aware of a Human trafficking training program at my Transit Agency, is it possible for you to send me a copy of the PowerPoint presentation so I can present it to my Agency Director to promote him into starting a training or implementing it into our training program? A training curriculum is available on the Truckers Against Trafficking website.
- Are there any local agency in St. Lucie with a platform of combatting human trafficking? The Human Trafficking Hotline has a referral directory. You can search by location to find resources in your area.
- How can I bring awareness of the subject matter to my agency? Utilizing the Truckers Against Trafficking curriculum. Sign the Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking Pledge. Implement a policy and procedures and train all employees about that policy/procedure
- Are there volunteer opportunities linked to the presenting organizations? Visit the Florida Dream Center
- Has there been human trafficking convictions in Sarasota County, how many, when? Thank you. Total values are not available. A recent sting led to 23 arrests and one conviction and another story in the Herold Tribune.
- How can we help do our part? Recognize and report suspicious indicators.
- What are the most effective training strategies that we can equip our team with? Thank you! Recognize and report suspicious indicators. Document what is reported for trend information. Include signage around the transit facilities so that the human trafficking hotline number is easily known/found quickly. Have policies and procedures in place to ensure operators know what to do if they see suspicious activity
- I am looking for identifiers, things to look for, especially as it must be changing. COVID-19 makes identification of trafficked individuals and survivors more challenging. School closings have foreclosed opportunities for teachers and other education personnel to identify at-risk or exploited youth.
- Pasco County in particular has a very large homeless population. Do you believe this contributes to the human trafficking situation as a means to a way? If so, are there any plans to address the homeless population and work on some type of solution? Homelessness is a definite push factor into human trafficking. Push factors are those elements that tend to “push” an individual into exploitation by creating a vulnerability. Individuals, including children, have heightened vulnerability and may be forced, defrauded, or coerced into either labor or sex trafficking for basic needs, drugs, or survival. Peddling, panhandling, magazine sells, prostitution, brothels, street tracks, and other means can become exploitive for the individual. Addressing homelessness is both a community and political issue that requires comprehensive engagement.
- Since the specific focus is on how transit employees can help, what are the best strategies to accomplish this? Ensure/encourage training accompanied by specific policies and procedures
- Transit employees that are behind the wheel are the eyes and ears of our agencies, how can “suspicious” interactions be better handled on the road? Call the national hotline at 888-3737-888. Also, Document suspicious occurrences for trending information to understand the problem
- What are the red flags to look for to indicate a potential human trafficking situation? The red flags that were presented in the webinar
- What is the age and race of most human traffic victims? More information can be found on the Polaris Project website.
- What percent of victims are found each year? That is unknown, but not enough until they are all found.
- What is the profile of the perpetrators? Someone who is at the bus stop/station, but not ever boarding, especially if they are often seen talking with others that may appear more vulnerable, or less confident. Someone who seems to be in control of another person’s movements or belongings/identification/phone/etc. There are other red flags to look for that were also mentioned in the presentation.