MONTGOMERY -- The Alabama Fusion Center is on the forefront of a worldwide problem: human trafficking. And, as the state’s intelligence center, its personnel regularly train law enforcement officers and analysts actively working sex- and labor-trafficking investigations across the nation.
The Fusion Center, part of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, conducted a three-day training event the week of Feb. 25, drawing 77 participants from 20 states interested in learning more about case development and intelligence gathering related to human trafficking.
Topics presented included the importance of developing a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to take a victim-centered approach to the investigations, the governmental databases available from federal partners that can provide useful information to further the case, the use of non-governmental agencies in support of tactical operations, as well as the growing nexus of gang-sponsored and terrorism organizations involved in human trafficking. The attendees were provided with new resources and best practices for working these investigations they can take back to their home states to assist with gathering information to not only help law enforcement successfully identify and arrest traffickers, but also to assist in locating resources available for rescued victims’ aftercare.
Intelligence Analyst Teresa Collier heads up the Fusion Center’s Human Trafficking Unit and conducted the first training in 2016 for analysts from across the nation in an effort to share information on successfully working and prosecuting such cases. Since then, the national training has grown from the first class of 40 analysts to the February program with almost double the number of attendees, which included individuals from non-governmental agencies on local, state and federal levels.
Fusion Center Director Jay Moseley, said, "Human trafficking, sex trafficking, labor trafficking have no boundaries, no state borders. We must bring people together, from across the Southeast and beyond, to understand and recognize the signs are the same everywhere. We want to make sure we are all on the same sheet of music when it comes to recognizing human trafficking."
For more information on the Fusion Center, visit https://www.alea.gov/sbi/fusion-center.