Arizona attorney general, truckers take human trafficking fight to road
PHOENIX — The fight against human trafficking is going on the road, thanks to Arizona truckers and the Arizona Attorney General’s office.
More than 25,000 stickers are being distributed with a phone number that trafficking victims can call or text for help. Truck drivers can display them in their windows or on their doors.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office is donating money for those stickers.
“I’ve always said that any society – ultimately – is judged by how it treats the least among us, the most vulnerable,” Brnovich said.
The attorney general said everyone needs to help stamp out human trafficking. “Truckers are on the front lines of this global epidemic,” he said. “They are our eyes and ears on Arizona highways. If just one rescue sticker or observant driver helps save a life, then we’ve made a difference.”
The attorney general’s office said in just the first six months of 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received more than 200 tips in Arizona. That worked out to more than one call per day.
“Our members have embraced Truckers Against Trafficking since its inception,” said Arizona Trucking Association President and CEO Tony Bradley. “The partnership between law enforcement and the trucking industry is critical to fighting these horrific crimes and we are honored to be a part of it.”
Trucker Brian Sprowel said he is honored to be part of it, too. He’s seen a lot in his 40 years of trucking – but he never knew how widespread the trafficking problem was until recently. In fact, he said may have saved a possible trafficking victim in Quartzsite.
“A young lady got out of a car, and she approached my truck,” he said. “I said, ‘Look at the side of my truck. Are you okay?’ and she said to me, ‘No.’”
Sprowel said there’s no way to know how many people will be saved by the stickers, but he does know one thing: “If you’re seeing (suspected human trafficking), you need to call that number.”
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