Police Officers Attend Human Trafficking Investigations Course
ERASE Child Trafficking (ERASE) is a U.S. based non-profit organization focused on eliminating child trafficking. ERASE’s Law Enforcement Training Program provides several courses on identifying and investigating all forms of human trafficking. Courses range from introductory to advanced for patrol officers, investigators, detectives, federal agents, prosecutors, and judges. Human trafficking investigations are increasing as a result of awareness and education.
The Fayetteville Police Department hosted one of several classes provided in North Carolina by ERASE. The 3-day Advanced Human Trafficking Investigation Course is law enforcement instructor-led. The class is developed specifically for the region and to meet the needs of the agencies attending. Local, State, and Federal law enforcement officers from various departments across North Carolina attended the training. In addition to the instructors, several subject matter experts shared their knowledge.
Human trafficking advocates and survivors spoke with officers in the four class presented in North Carolina. Survivor Leaders, Kelley Alsobrook, and Shanika Ampah spoke with the officers and answered many of their questions. They were able to provide insight into why it is difficult for human trafficking victims to reach out to police for help. They explained the importance of building a rapport and trust with victims. They also discussed the community’s role in combatting child trafficking.
Guest speakers covered subjects from the importance of using a victim-centered approach to federal and state human trafficking laws to technology and tools. North Carolina human trafficking case studies were also presented. Speakers included: Special Agent Victor Williams, ICE/HSI/SAC, Miami, FL, Human Trafficking Group, AUSA Jane J. Jackson from the United States Attorney’s Office-Eastern District of North Carolina, Cumberland County Assistant District Attorney, Rob Thompson, North Carolina Child Trafficking Resource Prosecutor, Damie Sesay, Jan Anderson, Attorney Advisor for AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, and Senior OSINT Instructor and Analyst for Delitor, Sean Kowalski.
Dianne Kemppainen-Ziacsik from a local non-profit, 5Sparrows, spoke about their efforts of providing survivor services and community outreach. 5Sparrows is helping the community in the fight against human trafficking with several different programs they run.
“Subject matter experts from ERASE Child Trafficking’s law enforcement program delivered this advanced training in an effort to assist local law enforcement in their mission of combating human trafficking,” Sgt. Michael Hardin of Fayetteville Police Department said. Sgt. Hardin adds that human trafficking is not something that just happens in other countries, it’s going on in plain sight within communities in the United States. “Human trafficking is a rapidly growing criminal enterprise in which the victims suffer devastating physical and psychological abuse and sometimes even death.”
“Members of local law enforcement and their non-governmental affiliate partners are dedicated to the pursuit of eradicating these crimes against humanity. ERASE provided top-notch training for our investigators who combat human trafficking throughout the state.”– Sgt. Michael Hardin
Human Trafficking Investigations & Training
ERASE Child Trafficking is dedicated to empowering law enforcement to inspire change in how human trafficking crimes are approached. Police and Federal agencies do not always have resources to provide quality training for their detectives and patrol officers. “Second to providing services to individuals who are victims of human trafficking, training police officers and federal agents is a priority for us. They are the ones on the front lines who have the ability to make a difference in a human trafficking survivor’s life. And by taking their trafficker of the streets it prevents further victimization.” – Sandra Sparks, Executive Director, ERASE Child Trafficking.
Additional classes were presented in Winston Salem, Raleigh, and Wake County.
Ms. Sparks explains, “The law enforcement program provides 24 hours of Advanced Human Trafficking Investigations training to agencies across the county, which is made possible through collaborations and donations”
For more information on the class or about donating please contact Sandra Sparks of ERASE Child Trafficking at 800-819-3727.