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State departments of transportation are viewed as one of many “modal connectors” within the United States that can help reduce if not stop altogether the global crime of human trafficking, noted Paul Anderson, president and CEO of the Port of Tampa Bay, in a Jan. 23 webinar sponsored by the American Association of Port Authorities.

“This is something we can do if we work together,” explained Anderson, who is also one of 15 members serving on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s advisory committee on human trafficking established last October.

“I can’t speak for all state DOTs but there is certainly a high level of [human trafficking] awareness in my state of Florida,” he said. “We passed a lot of statutes driving awareness training for DMV [Department of Motor Vehicle] employees as well as with airport workers. Those efforts have to align with federal and state policies and we’re fortunate that our attorney general took a very proactive role in doing so within our state and nationally. We have the structure now [to fight trafficking] with key constituency and stakeholders.”