COLUMBUS, Ohio – Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) will be joining neighboring states to raise awareness about human trafficking during the week of January 23 through January 27.
The OSHP, the Indiana State Police and the Michigan State Police have once again partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) to raise awareness. The crime of human trafficking is serious. This initiative focuses on educating the public and enforcing the laws that crack down on traffickers.
The goal of this week-long Tri-State Human Trafficking Initiative is to train and educate those in a position to see human trafficking taking place, such as motor vehicle drivers, public transportation companies, rest area attendants and truck stop employees. These individuals can act as the eyes and ears of Ohio’s highways, and by teaching them the signs of human trafficking and how to report it, they are yet another resource to protect humans from trafficking and exploitation.
According to the Attorney General’s 2015 Human Trafficking Annual Report, law enforcement agencies in Ohio reported 102 human trafficking investigations in 2015. These investigations led to 104 arrests and 33 successful prosecutions. Additionally, 203 potential victims of human trafficking were identified along with 130 suspected traffickers.
To report a trafficking tip, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline Resource Center (NHTRC) at 888-373-7888 or text the BeFree line at 233733. The toll free number is available anywhere in the US, 24/7. The hotline received calls from Ohio regarding 592 potential human trafficking cases from Ohio, from 2013 to 2015, making Ohio the fifth highest total for potential cases reported among the states.
The Patrol reminds citizens and motorists to contact the Patrol by calling #677 to report
impaired drivers, unsafe drivers or illegal activity.