TOPEKA – More than 1,000 Kansas law enforcement officers received training on identifying and responding to human trafficking during the recently ended 2017 fiscal year, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Trainings provided by the attorney general's office were held in several locations around the state, including last month’s “Four Corners” training effort held in Colby, Hiawatha, Garden City and Parsons. Law enforcement officers received training on both identification and effective, multi-disciplinary response to human trafficking. Training is coordinated by the attorney general’s office and the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLETC). The attorney general’s office and the KLETC also offered an on-demand webinar this past year, which allowed officers throughout the state to receive training on their own schedules.
Since 2013, the attorney general’s office has trained more than half of all sworn law enforcement officers in Kansas.
"Human trafficking is a crime of exploitation that thrives in the shadows or, sometimes, hides in plain sight," Schmidt said. "Increasing the number of law enforcement officers trained to identify trafficking and to know how to respond is a key to combating this terrible offense against human dignity."
The attorney general’s office is home to the Kansas Human Trafficking Advisory Board, which since 2013 has been tasked by law with providing education and training to law enforcement, victim support and other social service organizations, as well as interested community groups. During the previous fiscal year, the attorney general’s office also provided materials to support the training of hundreds of allied professionals including EMS personnel, school personnel, medical staff, motor carriers, victim advocates, faith-based community groups and hotel and motel personnel.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, human trafficking is one of the largest and fastest-growing criminal industries in the world. It is based on recruiting, harboring and transporting people for the purpose of exploitation. Both sex trafficking and labor trafficking occur in Kansas and both adults and children are victims.
Awareness is an important part of combating human trafficking. More information is available on the attorney general’s website at ag.ks.gov/human-trafficking.