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Ken Paxton Partners With Texas Trucking Industry In The Fight Against Human Trafficking

The Attorney General’s office will train professionals of that sector on how to identify and report potential cases.


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infographic about human trafficking

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is taking new steps in the fight against human trafficking by partnering with a group of professionals that can be very helpful.

Officials with the Texas Attorney General's office chose Houston to hold the first of a series of trainings about human trafficking on March 24th with representatives from the trucking industry.

These trainings are the main component of a partnership between Paxton's office, the Texas Trucking Association and the group Truckers Against Trafficking, TAT.

Within the structure of the Texas Attorney General’s office, the recently created Section on Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime is the division that specializes in this type of crimes.

Kirsta Melton is its deputy criminal chief and says the added value truckers can provide is they are frequently in places where these crimes occur, such as truck stops and rest areas.

"If you are on the scene, you provide actionable, detailed information, license plates, descriptions of what you are seeing, how many people, any sort of detail, then police officers who receive that can act on it in an immediate way," notes Melton.

In the last nine years, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline has received more than 1,000 calls from truck drivers, which led to more than 400 investigations.

John Esparza, president and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association, stresses that although human trafficking "is not something that’s been new to the country, new to Texas," the partnership between his group, the Attorney General's office and the TAT means "an organized effort to really combat the problem."

Paxton's office underlines that human trafficking continues to be prevalent in Texas and that Houston has the highest number of victims in the United States.

Melton says owners and operators of truck stops and travel plazas can also participate in the trainings.