ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Acting United States attorney Antoinette Bacon announced Friday that her office has partnered with law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels to establish a law enforcement task force to combat human trafficking. Bacon’s office plans to expand the task force to all 32 counties in which it operates.
The task force consists of members of the US Attorney General, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York State Police. In addition there are members of the police authorities of Albany, Colonie, Rotterdam, Schenectady, Troy; Sherriff’s Offices for Counties Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Ulster; Probation authority of the Rensselaer district; and the Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga Counties District Attorneys offices.
Uber publishes an instructional video on human trafficking
Last week, the US Attorney’s Office hosted a virtual training session for members of the task force. National law enforcement experts from the Department of Justice gave presentations on the Law to Protect Victims of Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking and Forced Labor on a Compulsory Basis, trauma-related interviews and proactive strategies to detect crimes of human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is modern slavery,” said acting US attorney Bacon. “Ruthless traffickers use violence, lies, threats, coercion and sometimes even drugs to force victims into a life of commercial sex or lengthy work. Victims are trapped; and they need our help to regain their freedom. We created this task force during the 10th National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to improve law enforcement’s ability to dismantle human trafficking networks and restore victims’ lives. “
Human trafficking survivors are battling the mounting misinformation
The United States Prosecutor’s Office and its partners encourage the community to join in their efforts by looking for signs of human trafficking, including:
- Is the person in the company of someone they know? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, such as where they’re going or who they’re talking to?
- Does the person seem trained in what to say?
- Does the person live in unsuitable conditions?
- Is the person missing personal items and does not seem to have a stable living situation?
- Does the person have freedom of movement? Can he or she go where they live? Are there inappropriate security measures?
- Does the person seem busy with their cell phone or internet enabled device?
- Does the person have items such as clothing, shoes, accessories, electronics that they should not be able to afford?
- Is the child missing school or missing parts of the school day without explanation?
If you or someone you know has been trafficking in human beings, contact local law enforcement or report it to federal law enforcement through the national human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or 1-866-347 -2423.