Two federal government agencies are teaming up with Amtrak to fight human trafficking.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman announced the new partnership Thursday.
Through the partnership, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation will work with Amtrak to train more than 8,000 frontline transportation employees and Amtrak police officers. The plan is for them to identify and recognize evidence of human trafficking. They will also learn how to report the crime.
In March, President Obama directed his administration to redouble efforts to eliminate human trafficking.
"Today, we pledge to do more to combat human trafficking by broadening our network of partners to help us identify and rescue victims and help bring the perpetrators to justice," said Napolitano. "We're grateful to have the participation of Amtrak and the Department of Transportation in this important effort, which will help save lives, protect innocent victims, and prevent this form of modern day slavery."
The training for Amtrak workers will come through DHS' Blue Campaign. The initiative was designed to educate DHS employees on how to identify potential victims of human trafficking.
"We cannot let the American transportation system be an enabler in these criminal acts," said Secretary LaHood. "In addition to today's partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and Amtrak, we are working with all modes of transportation to help stop the flow of human trafficking. Raising awareness can save lives, and we all have a responsibility to keep an eye out for these activities."
Boardman says the partnership is also part of DOT efforts to raise awareness about the problem and to make sure the transportation system is not being exploited for human trafficking.
"Amtrak is supportive of the DHS and DOT initiative to improve human trafficking awareness in the transportation industry and is proud to be the first partner in a program that will expand across the transportation sector."