Virginia State Police (VSP) announced that they’ll be conducting a high-visibility initiative “to Detect, Deter & Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking Among Commercial Vehicle Drivers” starting next week.
Beginning Monday, April 18, 2022, through Wednesday, April 20, 2022, VSP will conduct “Operation Safe Passage,” a human trafficking awareness effort for the trucking industry.
During the three day event, VSP Motor Carrier Safety Troopers will be positioned at various truck stops, motor carrier service centers, and rest areas across the state to engage with drivers and to distribute educational materials to raise awareness about human trafficking.
“State police troopers will also be conducting routine motor carrier inspections during the course of Operation Safe Passage,” VSP said in a news release.
“Preventing human trafficking and providing support to its victims have been a priority of Governor Youngkin and his administration since stepping into office in January,” said Public Safety Virginia Secretary Bob Mosier. “I am extremely pleased to see the Virginia State Police taking an aggressive and active stance towards addressing what has become a global pandemic. Virginia has no tolerance for the exploitation of any human being, and is committed to apprehending, prosecuting and bringing to justice anyone associated with this crime.”
“With tens of thousands of commercial trucks and buses traveling through and across Virginia on any given day, this statewide initiative has extensive, life-saving potential,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Commercial drivers can be our added eyes and ears when it comes to identifying the common indicators of human trafficking victims and perpetrators. This campaign is about putting an end to a very serious crime that intentionally preys on vulnerable adult and juvenile populations.”
Anyone who suspects human trafficking in the state of Virginia is encouraged to report it by dialing #77 on a cell phone to reach the nearest Virginia State Police Emergency Dispatch Center or to call 911.