A new course from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and its partners provides training to prepare peace officers across Texas to combat human trafficking and rescue survivors. The agency joined forces with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to produce the new continuing education course. The course will keep Texas officers at the forefront of combating these crimes. Training includes learning to recognize and investigate signs of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is believed to impact more than 200,000 people in Texas alone. A new video produced by TABC illustrates the trauma experienced by thousands of human trafficking survivors across the Lone Star State.
Free, Online Training for Officers
The course is a development of TABC with assistance from TEEX. Its administration will take place statewide free of charge to officers. Training will use the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s online training portal. The online training will allow officers to receive continuing education hours. It will also meet one of the requirements to obtain an advanced peace officer proficiency certificate.
TABC plays a leading role in investigating and stopping suspected human trafficking taking place in businesses where alcohol is sold. This includes state-regulated bars and nightclubs.
“Texas is No. 2 in the nation for reported cases of human trafficking, and it’s an unfortunate fact that these crimes can sometimes involve businesses licensed by TABC,” said TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles. “It’s incumbent on all Texans to do their part to help end this terrible crime. With their successful records of developing and deploying coursework to tens of thousands of Texas peace officers, our partnership with TEEX and TCOLE was a natural fit for this project.”
The multi-agency effort represents a unified approach among Texas agencies to put an end to trafficking, according to Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp.
“Human traffickers are a disease within our society that needs to be eradicated,” Sharp said. “Along with our partners, officials with the Texas A&M System and TEEX are equipped, willing and eager to do our part to help capture these predators and bring them to justice.”
“Ending human trafficking in the state of Texas — in all its forms — will require the vigilance of every Texan,” said Dr. John Ray, director of the TEEX Institute for Law Enforcement and Protective Services Excellence. “This whole-community approach has been exemplified in this multi-agency effort to more effectively address this heinous crime, as well as raise public awareness.”