AZDPS Continues Commitment to Combating Human Trafficking Through Education and Enforcement
- For Immediate Release -
Following Governor Katie Hobbs’ declaration of January as Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and in recognition of January 11 as of National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Day, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) reaffirms its commitment to combating human trafficking through continued enforcement and education.
Human trafficking encompasses crimes involving forced labor and/or sex trafficking. According to the U.S. Department of State, there are an estimated 27.6 million trafficking victims worldwide at any given time.
“Our personnel and our stakeholders are committed to ending human trafficking in Arizona by collaborating with community partners, law enforcement, and prosecutors to raise awareness, hold traffickers responsible, and provide human trafficking victims with resources to prevent further exploitation and victimization,” said AZDPS Major Jennifer Borquez, Director of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC).
The ACTIC coordinates statewide resources and training for the public, juvenile probation, victims of human trafficking, Arizona law enforcement, and others on the subject of human trafficking and other child crimes.
One such training program, the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC), provides law enforcement officers, prosecutors, child advocates, and others who work closely with children the knowledge and skills to recognize victims of trafficking and to coordinate resources for assistance. Since the program was adopted in Arizona in 2014, over 1,000 individuals from 43 different agencies have completed the training.
The ACTIC has partnered with the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, the Governor’s Council to Combat Human Trafficking in Arizona, and the Arizona State University Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research (STIR) to create a tip line that provides a non-law enforcement on-call response and support to victims of human trafficking. From Feb. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023, the human trafficking tip line received 112 calls for support, referral, and case management services for human trafficking victims.
The tip line is available 24/7 at 1-877-4AZ-TIPS (1-877-429-8477) or online at azactic.gov. (*Victims in need of immediate assistance should call 9-1-1.)
In addition, from Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, through Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, the Arizona Commercial Vehicle Safety Partnership (ACVSP) is participating in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) 2024 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. This initiative seeks to reduce human trafficking in North America through coordinated educational awareness as well as investigative and enforcement measures within the commercial motor vehicle industry.
ACVSP troopers and officers, CVSA and Truckers Against Trafficking representatives, and industry partners are distributing outreach materials at truck stops, ports of entry, and during roadside inspections. These efforts assist in raising awareness about the crime of human trafficking, warning signs to look out for, and what members of the public can do if they suspect someone is being trafficked.
The ACVSP is comprised of AZDPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement troopers and Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division officers.
“No one entity can end human trafficking alone, it will take the entire community,” said Major Borquez. “We encourage everyone to become familiar with the signs and report any suspected human trafficking through our website at azactic.gov.”