Campaign includes partnerships with the AG’s office, Department of Public Safety, KLLM, Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi Beer Distributors and more.
Leaders from industries and politics across the state gathered on Monday to be a part of the “Be the Solution” campaign. The effort is aimed at bringing awareness, services, and an end to human trafficking in Mississippi.
“With a problem as big as human trafficking, it takes everyone doing their part,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “The Attorney General’s Office is committed to putting the full force of our resources behind putting traffickers out of business and recovering victims who have been forced to live out their very worst nightmare day after day. We conduct undercover operations statewide, and they start with a tip. Together, we can be the solution.”
Speakers in partnership for the campaign included Jim Richards of KLLM, Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell, Hal Miller with the Mississippi Trucking Association, and remarks by Hailey, a survivor of human trafficking.
Also present were representatives from Mississippi’s human trafficking task forces, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
AG Fitch said this campaign is all about making people aware that human trafficking exists within our boarders and communicating what signs to look for to spot it.
“The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is proud to partner with the Attorney General’s Office in the fight to eradicate human trafficking,” said Commissioner Tindell. “The Human Trafficking Unit of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is dedicated to planning and executing operations designed to apprehend sex traffickers and buyers. Together, we can remove these criminals from our communities and protect our most vulnerable.”
— Sean Tindell (@TindellSean) June 28, 2021
A heavy part of the partnership includes truckers in Mississippi, since roughly 10% of all Mississippi jobs are in the trucking industry. Truckers are also in a unique position to identify victims due to their considerable time on the roads.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) expanded partnerships to offer training materials to CDL drivers statewide. These nationally recognized training resources offer real stories of drivers who have encountered a victim on the road. They will make drivers better equipped to spot trafficking and report what they have seen.
Similarly, school bus drivers are in a unique position to help young victims of trafficking. School can sometimes be the only safe place for students, and their bus drivers are the first to see them in the morning and the last to see them before they return home.
In partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education, the AGO and DPS are offering nationally recognized training resources to school bus drivers across the state to help them spot the signs of trafficking and know how to report it.
The campaign will also place billboards, radio public service announcements, truck wraps, posters and other public education components throughout the state in order to increase awareness in communities.