Sept. 23, 2015 – Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, AG Investigations Director Leo Lucey and AG Justice Division Director Greg Ferbache trained Utah sheriffs on human trafficking this week at the Utah Sheriffs Corrections and Law Enforcement Conference in St. George. AG Reyes, Director Lucey and Director Ferbache urged sheriffs and agencies throughout Utah to understand the signs of human trafficking and to coordinate efforts to thwart the increasing criminal enterprise.
“I have deep gratitude for the exceptional men and women who choose law enforcement as a profession and risk their lives daily to protect our cities, counties and state,” said Reyes. “The Utah Sheriffs’ Association Conference is an important annual venue for our office to learn about current crime trends and ways to combat dangers in our communities. This year, we had the unique opportunity to train other agencies on how to detect human trafficking patterns, prosecute those engaged in trafficking activities and ways to unite in state efforts to eradicate trafficking from our state.”
Established in September 2012 by victim advocates, the statewide Utah Trafficking in Persons Task Force is force made up of service providers, law enforcement, legal professionals and other stakeholders. The organization provides needed resources and a forum for the exchange of ideas, sharing intelligence, case staffing, developing victim resources and creating opportunities for all entities involved to help address and resolve the crime of human trafficking. Agencies were invited to join the task force.
Also discussed in the training, signs to recognize potential trafficking in Utah, which include but are not limited to:
• Travel for a specific job or purpose that changes once the person arrives in the destination state or nation
• Signs of physical or mental abuse
• Financial obligations to an employer or an employer holds wages
• Instruction from an employer on what to say to law enforcement or associates
• Inability to freely leave employment
• Overly crowded houses or apartments with many young adults from the same world region that seem to not socialize with neighbors
“Human trafficking is not a partisan issue, it’s a human issue – and we must come together to fight it in Utah and throughout the world,” concluded Reyes.