December 3, 2022
By Rachl Aguirre
When we think about human trafficking, we think about it happening on the other side of the world or anywhere else, but not in our backyard. I’m here to tell you human trafficking is in our quaint city of Lee’s Summit. In fact, it is right here in Jackson County.
An estimated 4,000 victims are trafficked daily in Missouri and Kansas. Second to the illegal drug trade in terms of lucrative criminal industries, human trafficking is growing at an alarming rate. Human trafficking does not discriminate. It could be your neighbor, your child’s classmates, or the person you work with.
I have personally witnessed two incidents in Lee’s Summit where young girls were being trafficked. Like many, I wasn’t sure how to approach the victim. I called the police, but in today’s world, beleaguered law enforcement has more on its plate than ever before. Perhaps no crime requires a more immediate and effective response than a young girl or boy who is being trafficked. From the newest rookie to the veteran sergeant, every police officer deserves up-to-date and comprehensive training in dealing with these terrifying situations.
On Monday, December 5th, 2022, First Responders (police, firefighters, social workers, medical personnel, and school resource officers) can participate in a Free Training presented by The Human Trafficking Training Center, or H.T.T.C in the Greater Kansas City Area at the KCPD Regional Training Academy, 6885 NE Pleasant Valley Rd, Kansas City, MO from 8-4pm.
The training is sponsored by We The People of Jackson County.
“Training is the foundation,” explains Dan Nash, co-founder of the H.T.T.C. “We cannot expect officers to identify and interdict victims of human trafficking if they are not first trained to do so. We see this time and time again, that within days or weeks of attending the training, officers are rescuing victims and/or arresting traffickers.”
Nash’s training partner, Alison Phillips, says it’s not uncommon to receive calls from officers within days of the training, letting them know how they put it to use immediately.
“Recently, a school resource officer contacted us less than 24 hours after completing the training,”
Philips said. “He told us the skills he learned helped him identify a 14-year-old female who was being trafficked by her mother. He was able to get the child help and make two arrests.”
Citizens will have the same opportunity to receive this skilled training on March 4, 2023, from 9-3 at Kauffman Stadium.
To register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.