(SACRAMENTO) — With more than 1,100-member companies, operating more than 400,000 trucks within California, the California Trucking Association (CTA) today announced its partnership with “Sacramento Together,” a coalition of law enforcement, state and local agencies, and community based organizations working together to combat human trafficking and exploitation in our community.
“Combating human trafficking is a top priority for our members,” said CTA’s President Lynnette Brown. “Through our ongoing work with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) we’ve been able to provide training and resources to the men and women in the trucking industry who, as the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways, are able to play an important and unique role in helping to identify and end human trafficking.
“Through this partnership with Sacramento Together we are expanding our efforts to raise awareness, and funnel critical information from our members to appropriate law enforcement agencies and DA’s offices and put an end to human trafficking,” added Brown.
With thousands of truck-stops along heavily populated highways, these areas are popular sites for sex traffickers to sell their victims. Access to roads and freeways provide traffickers with the means to easily transport victims across state lines and has made it more difficult for law enforcement to investigate trafficking activities.
“Traffickers move victims around to make sure they are never in one place long enough to get help,” said Kevin Kimmel, truck driver for CFI. “The training I received from TAT allowed me to recognize the signs of human trafficking, report suspicious activity and ultimately help a victim during one of my stops.”
For several years, CTA has been a proud sponsor of Truckers Against Trafficking, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, empowering and mobilizing members of the trucking community with tools to combat human trafficking as part of their daily job.
“The combination of TAT’s training and materials and the structure that Sacramento Together provides is critical to identifying and stopping human trafficking activities in California,” said CTA CEO Shawn Yadon.
“Truck drivers are a key resource in spotting and reporting crimes as they are taking place,” said Kylla Lanier, deputy director for TAT. “We are pleased to work with CTA and members of the public safety community so that more calls are made, and more victims are recovered.”
As a partner with Sacramento Together, CTA will work with Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff W. Reisig and their respective offices, as well as the California Highway Patrol to maximize ongoing efforts to train truck drivers and truck stop personnel to identify signs of trafficking and report suspicious activity. This partnership will strengthen efforts to better serve victims of sexual and labor exploitation and increase public awareness of human trafficking.
“This partnership with CTA is key to combating human traffickers who use our roads and truck stops for their gain,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff W. Reisig. “The involvement of CTA’s hundreds of thousands of drivers and TAT’s training provides law enforcement and public safety professionals additional tools to battle human trafficking and offers more resources to better serve victims of these heinous crimes.”
“Truck drivers are trained to be vigilant and observant as part of their job,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert. “When you factor in all the locations that truck drivers encounter in their travels you realize they are present not just in truck stops, but rest areas, motels, gas stations, busy city streets and loading docks; they are the perfect messengers to educate others about the prevalence of human trafficking and partners for us to work with to help victims.”
“With law enforcement’s boots on the ground and truckers’ eyes on the road we can stamp out human trafficking and ensure our highways are a safe place for all Californians,” said California Highway Patrol, Valley Division, Commander Chief Brent Newman.
Today’s announcement was made during a joint press conference with the Sacramento County District Attorney, the Yolo County District Attorney, California Highway Patrol, Truckers Against Trafficking and members of the trucking community at the 49er Truck Stop in Sacramento.
About the California Trucking Association
The California Trucking Association has been serving the commercial motor carrier industry in California, and the companies that provide products and services to the trucking industry, for 83 years. A critical and vital component of California’s economy, 78 percent of California communities depend solely on trucks to deliver their goods. Our carrier membership ranges from individual owner-operators, to small for-hire fleets, to the largest national and international carriers. Allied members of the California Trucking Association range from businesses involved with truck and trailer sales, parts and service, insurance, legal services and all other businesses that support the trucking industry.
The California Trucking Association promotes leadership in the California motor carrier industry, advocates sound transportation policies to all levels of government, and works to maintain a safe, environmentally responsible and efficient California transportation goods movement system.
Regarding outreach opportunities to our members, we can host Sacramento Together outreach, training, workshop events (or county specific events) through our respective Sacramento and Bay Area Unit members who have operations that are in your jurisdictions.
Since we became a sponsor of TAT many of our members have held TAT training sessions with their own drivers, dispatch, warehousing and other company representatives to help make them aware and what to look for and most importantly how to report an incident. I envision the same type of relationship with yolo and sac. Combating human/sex trafficking has been a priority issue for our membership since we started our relationship with TAT.