Truckers hitting the road against human trafficking

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LANSING, MI. (WILX) - January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and the Michigan State Police is teaming up with truck drivers to stop human trafficking with a program they call 'Truckers Against Trafficking'.

Jonesville trucker imminent hazard to public safety (Courtesy: MGN Online)

Nathan Daugherty, MSP Officer said, "We're working with truck drivers to raise awareness, be our eyes and ears on the road and if they see something, say something."

Officer Daugherty says Truckers Against Trafficking came to the MSP for their help and since then it's been a huge success.

He says they've reached thousands of truck drivers in the last few years.

"So many of them, they work cross country, they're everywhere and they see a lot more than we are able to...especially with a marked police car."

He says the extra eyes on the road really help out, especially because sex trafficking doesn't typically look the way people may think.

He says more often than not, it happens online.

"A lot of it comes from people online pretending to be their friends, pretending to be kids who are close to them, close to their age and have the same interests and that's when they get sucked into that lifestyle, they're forced into it," he said.

Daugherty says children are the ones most often affected by human trafficking but it's important that people realize anyone can be affected by this.

He says trafficking victims can be anyone, regardless of age, race or gender.

"There's no database on who is or who isn't, or who the potential victims are."

He also says people overlook certain situations because they believe it's prostitution but it's better to call even if you're not sure.

"If you think it's prostitution, chances are it's human trafficking - same thing with the labor trafficking as well."

If you suspect someone is being trafficked, call the National Hotline for Human Trafficking Prevention at 888-3737-888 in the U.S.

Or 800-222-TIPS for Canada.

You can also text INFO or HELP to BeFree (233733).

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