TAT Coalition Builds
The goal of a TAT coalition build is to establish an effective and sustainable working relationship between the trucking industry and law enforcement statewide, in order to combat the crime of human trafficking.
While TAT plays a substantial role in spearheading the initial coalition, and will always make its resources available, it is the Office of the Attorney General and the State Trucking Association (along with a handful of other agencies) who assume the lead moving forward, insofar as they are local agencies capable of galvanizing the necessary stakeholders on both sides. These efforts are intended to result in the coordination and implementation of effective strategies and actions, in partnership with one another, that will close loopholes to traffickers who so easily exploit both victims and legitimate businesses for criminal gain.
The first phase in establishing this coalition is to co-host a coalition build meeting with Truckers Against Trafficking, the Office of the Attorney General and the State Trucking Association. The initial goals of this meeting are to:
1. Gather leaders from various law enforcement departments, including representatives from Department of Public Safety and Department Of Transportation as well as county sheriff’s offices, in the same room with representatives/executives of local trucking companies and truck stop owners and managers.
2. Offer an initial training on human trafficking to all participants at the meeting as well as offer concrete pathways and strategies for law enforcement and members of the trucking industry to work together to combat it.
3. Introduce truck stop owners and general managers to their local law enforcement officers in order to establish a local contact protocol through the contact list.
4. Motivate more trucking companies to train drivers as a result of the build.
5. Motivate truck stops to train employees and become points of distribution for TAT materials.
6. Provide victim-centered law enforcement training on human trafficking by local law enforcement leaders and a survivor-leader sharing her story.
7. Promote a change in verbiage and mentality in both industries from “prostitute” to victim.
8. Work with the Office of the Attorney General to invite one vetted local victim service provider who can serve as a resource during the discussion as well as provide a list of local resources to have available at registration.
The second phase is to implement sustainable strategies for combatting human trafficking through collaborative efforts. The long-term goals of the coalitions are to:
1. Utilize TAT materials in ongoing, in-state trainings for both law enforcement agencies and industry members.
2. Chart increase in calls/reports into the hotline.
3. Equip local or statewide anti-trafficking task forces with industry stakeholders.
4. Assist in undercover investigations conducted between law enforcement agencies and industry stakeholders.
5. Aid in the adoption of the Iowa MVE model statewide.
6. Mandate TAT training at the CDL entry-level.
To learn more about the impact of our last 5 Coalition Builds, sponsored by Change a Path, please click here.
Investigator Neal Lofy is the co-founder of the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RCAHT), a 501 (c)(3) organization and network of local resources collaborating to increase communication among providers, identify gaps in services and provide advocacy and support for victims.
After attending a TAT coalition build in Menomonee Falls in July 2014, Neal became aware of the critical role members of the trucking industry can play in combating human trafficking and how they can collaboratively and effectively participate with law enforcement to combat these crimes.
“Most importantly, I learned about an organization that is solely dedicated to using the trucking industry to fight human trafficking -- TAT. TAT has made me think about a population and organizations that I might not have never thought about partnering up with or focusing on when investigating human trafficking. TAT brought to light that truck stops are still used as an area to buy and sell people or sex. TAT ultimately played a part in a relationship that I have formed with Quality Carriers, who have been extremely valuable in all of our efforts and have always been there for us in any way they can assist. In turn, when I first met the personnel at Quality Carriers, I had to mention TAT and suggest that they might want to partner up as well, because when we combine forces like this, we are at our strongest to recover those that are at their lowest.”