Broadening the battle against human trafficking

Pasco County Public Transportation employees are learning how to identify human trafficking victims in an effort to expand the battle on human trafficking.

Pasco County Public Transportation is partnering with the Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking and the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking to train all bus drivers on how to properly identify and report potential cases of human trafficking, which is essentially modern slavery, according to a Pasco County news release.

The PCPT bus drivers, like Stormy Byrd, will receive training on how to identify possible cases of human trafficking. (Courtesy of Pasco County)

“It’s important for all transit employees to be aware of their frontline support role in combating human trafficking,” PCPT Director Kurt Scheible said, in the release.  “Our partnership with the Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking and USIAHT will provide PCPT employees with critical training to identify vulnerable victims and help prevent this in our community.”

Bus operators and customer service agents will be trained on how to identify and report suspicious behavior.

Pasco County bus drivers will receive cards outlining trafficking indicators, protocols to follow if they suspect human trafficking, and the National Human Trafficking Hotline number: (888) 373-7888.

Each bus will display an informational placard and have victim resource cards available for riders to take if they need help. This campaign is expected to reach over 60,000 people every month.

“Eradicating human trafficking is not something any one organization can do alone,” said Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking Chair Liana Dean.  “This is a problem that’s going to take all of us to solve, which is why it’s so important that collaborations like this exist.”

Human trafficking is a growing problem worldwide, with an estimated 40 million men, women and children trapped in modern slavery, according to the International Labor Organization.  Florida consistently ranks third nationally in the number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

To learn more about Pasco County Public Transportation, including bus routes, transportation news and schedules, visit the PCPT website at RidePCPT.com. To learn more about the Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking, visit bit.ly/PascoHTCommission.

Published June 05, 2019

Comments

  1. Janet Bobik says

    This is a great idea. We could use some ride pride on those busses. Some of them are so dirty you can’t see anything on the back of the bus. Please hire people to maintain them.

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