Approximately 100 law enforcement officers throughout North Texas gathered at Sabre headquarters today to learn about one of the most under-reported and lucrative global crimes: human trafficking.
Worldwide, 21million people are victims of forced labor – one of two primary activities where human traffickers make potentially millions of dollars. The other activity is commercial sex acts.
Human trafficking is using force, coercion or fraud to put adults and children into labor or sex trafficking – and it’s not taking place in faraway lands or third world countries but throughout the world in well-manicured suburban subdivisions to downtown cities and economically challenged parts of cities. Human trafficking is second to the drug trade in the amount of money it generates for criminals.
Southlake Police Chief Steve Mylett helped organize the training session, along with the city of Southlake, where Sabre is headquartered. Southlake officials want to become a role model in the fight against human trafficking.
“In my 29 years in law enforcement I’m sure I’ve come across victims of human trafficking but I was more focused on getting drugs and guns off the street. I never knew about human trafficking but the more I have learned it is an epidemic crime and the law enforcement community must focus on it.”
Detective Kyle Williams, of the Crowley Police Department said he came to today’s training to learn of new information in the fight against human trafficking and he plans to bring what he learns back to his department.
“There’s almost an ignorance to it,” Det. Williams said during a break of the all-day session. “Officers do tend to be focused on the crimes we’ve been trained to stop – getting drugs and guns off the street so it’s great that awareness is being raised among law enforcement so this take as big a priority in the crimes we need to stop.”
The law enforcement training session is just one of many initiatives Sabre has taken on as part of Passport to Freedom, the company’s corporate responsibility program aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking and arming people in the travel industry with the knowledge and tools to help victims.
Sabre will kick-off training of its global workforce of 10,000 on July 22 with a fulsome online training program.
Friday’s law enforcement training was led by the Polaris Project and its chief executive officer, Bradley Myles. Sabre works with Polaris on a number of activities in the fight against human trafficking. The Polaris Project is a leading organization in the fight to end human slavery. The organization works with governments to secure stronger laws, they conduct training and awareness sessions and provide resources to help victims.
A number of local, state and federal law enforcement officials from U.S. Homeland Security and the Dallas Police Department led sessions on best practices, trends, what to look for to identify human trafficking and the resources available to help law enforcement.
“I’m very impressed with the level of passion and commitment that a big corporation like Sabre has to put an end to human slavery,” Myles said. “From the company’s executive leaders to various teams in every department at every level – there is deep passion through all parts of Sabre and that is very unique to see from a major company. I’ve not seen anything like it before.”
To report human trafficking, please call Polaris’ National Human Trafficking Resource Center at: 1-888-373-7888.