On Thursday, January 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) hosted state and local law enforcement officers from the Gainesville, FL area for a Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT). The HTAT program provides law enforcement officers with an in-depth understanding of the crime of human trafficking. The training consists of case studies, videos, and student-centered activities to enhance the learning experience and helps stress the importance of taking a victim-centered approach.
“FLETC’s work with local law enforcement across the country is essential to ensuring that law enforcement can identify and support victims and work to prevent the horrific crime of human trafficking,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “These trainings are just one part of our whole-of-DHS approach to combating human trafficking. DHS Agencies and Offices work to shine a light on these terrible crimes, investigate and help prosecute traffickers, and provide support and necessary services to victims.”
More than 30 local law enforcement officers participated in the training, which was hosted by the Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL, and featured Florida-based counter-trafficking experts and resources.
“When FLETC developed this class, we prioritized incorporating a diverse panel of experts, including federal, state, or local prosecutors, survivors, and other experts,” said FLETC Deputy Director William Fallon. “The goal is for everyone attending to hear from both local experts and federal investigators, including from ICE Homeland Security Investigations, about their experience and expertise in combating human trafficking.”
FLETC began developing training on the signs and indicators of human trafficking in late 2009. In 2015, FLETC began incorporating human trafficking awareness training into its basic programs for all new federal law enforcement officers and agents. In 2019, FLETC completed the development of its introductory HTAT program.
A component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FLETC provides career-long training to law enforcement professionals to help them fulfill their responsibilities safely and proficiently. Through strategic partnerships, FLETC prepares the federal law enforcement community to safeguard the American people, property, and institutions.
To report suspected human trafficking to DHS law enforcement, contact 1-866-347-2423. To seek help or learn more from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, contact 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). Read more about DHS’s work to combat human trafficking here: DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking