Training Bus and Casino Staff Can Help Stop Human Trafficking in Florida

Attorney general Ashley Moody is raging war on human trafficking by educating Florida workers within the transport and casino industries to recognize and report human trafficking when they see it.

Florida Attorney General Fights Human Trafficking with Education and Training

Florida attorney general Ashley Moody has joined forces with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), the Florida Department of Transportation and Busing on the Lookout and together they have organized the online training event Florida Bus & Casino Coalition Build Out.

The event gained huge popularity with 150 people registering and participating in the training.

It consisted of a presentation on human trafficking delivered by Katie O’Rourke, who is an expert on servicing programs for victims of human trafficking. There was also a special training segment targeted particularly at casino and bus companies’ staff and a presentation by a survivor of human trafficking.

The event ended with a special session with prosecutors and members of the police force, including assistant prosecutors Mary Sammon and Nicole Phillips and sergeant Bradley Bakeman from the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, Orlando.

Moody highlighted the importance of organized training: “Excited to co-host this important training to enlist even more soldiers in our fight to end human trafficking. Transportation and casino workers can play a key role in helping rescue trafficking victims, so it’s vital that we provide expert training to make sure they know how to spot and where to report suspicious activity.

Annie Sovcik, senior director of programs and strategic initiatives at TAT, has also praised the efforts by the attorney general and has highlighted the importance of acting locally and collaborating across the public and private sectors in order to defeat human trafficking.

Florida is the home of 17 casinos, which could easily be used as a hiding place for human trafficking. Therefore, casino staff, if trained properly to recognize the signs of human trafficking, can play an important role in spotting and reporting such crimes to the police.

Moody’s Further Efforts in the Fight Against Human Trafficking

This training event is not the first and only way the attorney general is trying to eradicate human trafficking in the state of Florida. On an earlier occasion, she also collaborated with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to establish a program called Highway Heroes. The initiative helped over 6,400 drivers to get anti-human trafficking training, which is certified by TAT.

Additionally, Moody is co-hosting the virtual 2022 Human Trafficking Summit, which will be starting on October 4. Participants will be leaders on all levels – local, state, and national – that are coming together in the fight against human trafficking.

The attorney general’s office has also set up a dedicated website, which offers information on how to recognize and report human trafficking.

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