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AG Unveils Online Training Program For Law Enforcement

R. Benk

Human trafficking is defined as the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Although the definition of the practice is straightforward, spotting it is a whole other story. That’s why officials are now offering a special course to help law enforcement spot the signs of human trafficking and stop it. Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Commissioner Gerald Bailey explains what the course contains.

“This training as you will see will provide information to those frontline officers to define human trafficking, to discuss the various forms of human trafficking that we see here in Florida and probably most importantly, provide them with indicators to spot human trafficking victims,” Bailey said.

How to spot evidence of human trafficking has been a standard part of academy training for officers since 2006, but those who entered the force before that year might not know how to approach human trafficking cases. Florida is number three in the country for human trafficking and Attorney General Pam Bondi wants to drop the states unenviable ranking.

“We sat down and said: what can we do together? We’ve got to keep doing more. [with] Everything we’re doing- it’s still going on. So, we worked together and came up with training for law enforcement officers,” Bondi said.

Bondi also pointed out that since the training is online, officers won’t have to take time away from policing.

“You can’t pull all these law enforcement officers around the state off the streets. So, we wanted to use modern technology and that’s why we came up with an online training course,” Bondi said.

The course isn’t mandatory, but officers will receive continuing training credits they can use to get new certifications. But, Bondi said you don’t need to wear a badge to benefit from the training.

“Once the online training is up and running we invite you to take part in it. Because by you participating and seeing what law enforcement officers are learning, our citizens can also learn from it and also help report crimes and that’s why this is so important,” Bondi explained.

And soon the human trafficking course won’t be the only training available to officers and the public online. Officials say eventually they hope to add courses on things like drugs and illegal gambling. The new training courses can be found on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website.