First-of-Its-Kind Training Course Will Help Rescue Human Trafficking Survivors
Agency working with industry members, local officials to ensure safe operations statewide
AUSTIN — A new course from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and its partners provides crucial 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 (TEEX) and Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to produce the new continuing education course, which will keep Texas officers at the forefront of combating these crimes by learning to recognize and investigate signs of human trafficking.
The course was developed by TABC with assistance from TEEX and will be administered statewide free of charge to officers using the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s online training portal. The online training will allow officers to receive continuing education hours and meet one of the requirements to obtain an advanced peace officer proficiency certificate while empowering them to help stop a crime that’s 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.
As the state’s sole authority regulating the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC plays a leading role in investigating and stopping suspected human trafficking taking place in state-regulated bars, nightclubs and other businesses where alcohol is sold.
“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.”
Officers interested in taking the course may contact their department’s TCOLE liaison or TABC’s Training Division at 512-206-3333 for more information.
Public Information Officer