Virginia state police launch statewide effort to combat human trafficking

Virginia State Police say that ‘Operation Safe Passage’ — a plan to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking — is underway.

The partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s investigations unit and the Virginia Trucking Association will station troopers at truck stops, rest areas and service centers across the commonwealth until Wednesday, April 20.



In a statement, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bob Mosier said that this action was necessary for “addressing what has become a global pandemic.”

“With tens of thousands of commercial trucks and buses traveling through and across Virginia on any given day, this statewide initiative has extensive, life-saving potential,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent.

Partners with the Virginia Trucking Association also acknowledged that truckers have a duty to help solve this problem.

“Truck drivers are uniquely positioned to recognize potential victims of this heinous crime and properly alert law enforcement when they witness suspicious activity,” said Dale Bennett, President and CEO of the Virginia Trucking Association.

State police troopers will also conduct “routine motor carrier inspections” throughout Operation Safe Passage.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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