ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, hundreds of law enforcement officers, social workers and medical personnel from around the state will be in Albuquerque Tuesday to learn how to spot and handle this form of modern day slavery.
This is the first time the Attorney General’s office has done anything like this. They hope that by training all of the people who are typically the victim’s first point of contact that it will put an end to human trafficking once and for all.
It’s an issue that the Attorney General’s office says is happening right here within our state, not just internationally.
In fact just last year, the human trafficking unit conducted eight search warrants, six arrest warrants, 33 sex trafficking cases, 31 victim interviews, and eight operations.
They want to make those numbers bigger this year. So on Tuesday, those law enforcement officers and service providers are going to be taught how to spot human trafficking, then based on their position, will learn how to handle it from there.
Law enforcement will learn how to do undercover work, how to interview a victim, how to interview an offender, and how to use social media to benefit in investigations.
Medical personnel will learn about the injuries to look for associated with human trafficking from a doctor at UNMH.
The Human Trafficking Unit’s collaborative partner will work with social workers and counselors on how to work with a victim and develop a safety plan.
“Every discipline is being taught different warning signs what to look for, something as simple as a branding or something like that on the victim or certain questions they may ask,” said Anthony Maez, Commander of Human Trafficking Task Force.
There will also be a big focus on social media as well. Maez says these traffickers will use social media to fool children into thinking they’re someone their age, will take them, and traffic them. It’s something parents need to be aware of.
Maez says his hopes are that the people attending Tuesday will go back to their communities to train everybody else. Their goal is to have every first responder in the state trained.
The Human Trafficking Conference runs all day at the Albuquerque Marriott on Louisiana Boulevard.