The FBI Norfolk Citizensí Academy Alumni Association held its first annual Law Enforcement Luncheon in April to foster teamwork between the FBI and local law enforcement agencies. Shown above, left to right, are Norfolk FBI Community Outreach Specialist Vanessa Torres, Alumni Association President D.R. Thrush, FBI Community Outreach Unit Chief Brett Hovington, and Alumni Association Vice-President Robert Spadaccini.
Participants at FBI/Birmingham Civil Rights Institute conference on human trafficking.

In an effort to educate the public on human trafficking issues in Alabama, the FBI Community Outreach and Civil Rights programs recently brought in survivors of trafficking and subject matter experts for a conference at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Various community leaders attended the event, which was intended to increase public awareness about human trafficking as a civil rights issue. Speakers also discussed law enforcement and community initiatives intended to combat the problem.

 “We realized there were a lot of myths around human trafficking, the biggest being that it really doesn't affect people in Birmingham and Alabama,” said FBI Birmingham Community Outreach Specialist Paul Daymond. “Whether it's migrant workers or children forced to work as prostitutes, the focus of this conference was to shine a light on the problem in the hope that more attention can get more action from the community. We want the people in our area to know there is a problem, be aware of the signs of human trafficking, and report any potential instances to the FBI.”

Since 2006, the FBI and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute have joined forces to develop training models for law enforcement and the community. The resulting conferences on law enforcement and civil rights have examined the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Training events are designed to build trust and open the lines of communication between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

Warning signs of human trafficking:

  • An unusually large number of people living in a single-family home.
  • Individuals who go from home to work and straight back with no signs of any kind of social life.
  • Frequent police activity at the home.

Report trafficking crimes or get help by calling the Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force Complaint Line at 1-888-428-7581 (voice and TTY). New laws provide options for trafficking victims regardless of immigration status. Operators have access to interpreters and can speak with callers in their own languages. The service is offered on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. After hours, information is available on tape in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin. Learn more about human trafficking.

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