Moody, Others Training Floridians to Identify and Report Human Trafficking

by Bethany Blankley


Attorney General Ashley Moody, Truckers Against Trafficking, the Florida Department of Transportation and Busing on the Lookout are working together to train more than 100 Floridians in the gaming and passenger transportation industries to identify and report human trafficking.

Moody and TAT hosted a Florida Bus & Casino Coalition Build Out training program on Thursday about how to identify human trafficking and learn about ways state and local law enforcement are combating it.

“Transportation and casino workers can play a key role in helping rescue trafficking victims, so it’s vital that we provide expert training to make sure they know how to spot and where to report suspicious activity,” Moody said.

More than 150 participants registered for the virtual event co-hosted by the Florida Attorney General’s Office, TAT, FDOT, Hard Rock/Seminole Gaming, American Gaming Association, Florida Public Transportation Association and Florida Motorcoach Association.

“Human trafficking is a global crime, but fighting it effectively requires local strategies,” Annie Sovcik with Truckers Against Trafficking said, pointing to successful public-private partnerships formed to combat it among those in the industry and law enforcement.

Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue, P.E., said the agency was educating its employees, partners and the general public to learn about the signs of human trafficking and how to prevent it.

Bus drivers can also play a key role because human traffickers target bus terminals and bus stops to find vulnerable people to exploit and then use buses to transport their victims.

“Bus drivers and station employees, who are properly trained to spot suspicious activity, could alert law enforcement and save lives,” Moody said.

“Members of the bus and casino industries can play a key role in the fight against human trafficking,” Moody added. There are 17 casinos in Florida among which normal casino-hotel activity can be used to conceal human trafficking, she said.

The event was launched after the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles previously launched the Highway Heroes initiative, which has so far trained more than 6,400 drivers with TAT-certified anti-human trafficking training.

All members of the public are encouraged to register for the state’s upcoming 2022 Human Trafficking Summit at It’s being held virtually Oct. 4.

“Human Trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining, by any means, a person for labor or services involving forced labor, slavery or servitude in any industry, such as forced or coerced participation in agriculture, prostitution, manufacturing, or other industries or in domestic service or marriage,” the Florida Department of Health states.

It’s also launched a Florida Abuse Hotline 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873) to report known or suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment; and known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

Floridians are encouraged to learn more about how to identify and report human trafficking at

They’re also encouraged to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline,  1-888-373-7888, or learn more here. They can also call the U.S. Department of Justice hotline at 1-888-428-7581.

Those seeking help for victims and survivors are encouraged to text HELP to 233733.

Moody’s office also has published a list of task forces and coalitions in all 67 counties dedicated to combating human trafficking.

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Bethany Blankley is a contributor to The Center Square. 
Photo “Ashley Moody” by Ashley Moody.




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