AG Schimel Announces New Training Partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel announced a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) and the national anti-human trafficking organization Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to bring TAT’s Busing on the Lookout (BOTL) training to Wisconsin bus companies.
“This partnership is the latest in our effort to stand shoulder to shoulder with Wisconsin industry leaders to fight human trafficking together,” said Attorney General Schimel. “These partnerships allow us to reach members of the workforce who are positioned to see, recognize and report human trafficking. Together, we can remove the strategic advantage traffickers enjoy when members of the public don’t recognize human trafficking.”
TAT’s Busing on the Lookout program provides educational materials including wallet cards and a training video to train drivers to recognize and report human trafficking.
“TAT created its newest program, Busing on the Lookout, because we recognize that the bus industry—commercial and school—has a unique role to play in adding an extra set of eyes and ears for law enforcement in recovering victims of human trafficking and arresting perpetrators,” explained Annie Sovcik, program director for Busing on the Lookout (BOTL). “Given the number of ways that trafficking cases intersect with busing—from traffickers recruiting at bus terminals, to buses being used to transport victims, to victims seeking safety at bus terminals or escape on buses—members of the bus industry are in a critical position to see things the rest of us do not. We are pleased that the Wisconsin Attorney General is partnering with us to get these materials into the hands of those who can use them to make a difference.”
DOJ provided information about human trafficking, including BOTL materials, to industry leaders Tuesday at the Wisconsin Motor Coach Association’s annual convention. DOJ is also working with the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association and shopping mall security teams to educate the workforce about industry-specific indicators of human trafficking.
In a statewide assessment, Wisconsin law enforcement in nearly every county in the state reported that human trafficking occurs in their community. Recognizing this growing problem, in September 2017 Attorney General Schimel established the Human Trafficking Bureau within the Division of Criminal Investigation. The bureau provides a coordinated statewide strategy to identify, target, and prosecute traffickers in order to combat human trafficking and provide needed assistance to survivors.
For more information about human trafficking in Wisconsin go to www.BeFreeWisconsin.com. For information about Truckers Against Trafficking and the Busing on the Lookout training, go to www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org.