Pasco County Public Transportation (PCPT) bus drivers will soon be another set of eyes and ears for law enforcement in the battle against human trafficking.
Later this month, PCPT will begin training its drivers on how to spot human trafficking victims at bus stops, on roadways or riding the public transportation system.
“It’s important for all transit employees to be aware of their frontline support role in combatting human trafficking,” said PCPT Director Kurt Scheible. “Our partnership with the Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking and USIAHT will provide PCPT employees with critical training to identify vulnerable victims and help prevent this in our community.”
Human trafficking is a growing problem around the world.
According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 40 million men, women, and children are trapped in modern slavery. Florida consistently ranks third nationally in the number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Bus operators and customer service agents will be trained on how to identify and report suspicious behavior.
Pasco County bus drivers will receive cards outlining trafficking indicators, protocols to follow if they suspect human trafficking and the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, which is 1-888-373-7888.
Each bus will display an informational placard and have victim resource cards available for riders to take if they need help. This campaign is expected to reach over 60,000 people every month.