Human Trafficking

The National Sheriffs’ Association and the NSA Traffic Safety Committee are working to raise awareness on the issue of Human Trafficking.  These victims are frequently living in or are passed through our communities without our knowledge and missed opportunities for interdiction have been well documented.  Law enforcement agencies have a critical role to play in anti-human trafficking efforts.  Law enforcement personnel may come into contact with victims of human trafficking in many situations. Whether responding law enforcement agents identify victims during a crisis call, routine traffic stop, or during a long-term investigation, they are in a position to protect and assist victims of trafficking as well as bring traffickers to justice.

Human trafficking within the United States affects victims who are U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, visa holders, and undocumented workers.

Victims of human trafficking often do not immediately seek help or self-identify as victims of a crime due to a variety of factors, including lack of trust, self-blame, or specific instructions by the traffickers regarding how to behave when talking to law enforcement or social services.  The victim often exhibits these characteristics:

Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid

Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement

Avoids eye contact

Human trafficking is a crime involving the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Human trafficking affects individuals across the world, including here in the United States, and is commonly regarded as one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time. Human trafficking affects every community in the United States across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds. 

Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age (22 USC § 7102).

Labor trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, (22 USC § 7102).

If you encounter any of these red flags, contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 for specialized victim services referrals or to report the situation. 


The Polaris Project

Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.

They recently released these resources:

You can learn more about Polaris here

The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign

Human trafficking is one of our country’s largest growing – and most heinous – crimes. To help increase awareness of this crime and learn how to recognize and report it, we wanted to make sure you had some of our newest (and as always, free!) resources available at:

You can download, print, and share our resources within your building or community, at events, or on social media. Some of our newer resources include:
“Second Look” Public Service Announcement
“What is Human Trafficking“ Infographic and Animated Video
“What Does Human Trafficking Look Like?” Posters

Download Front Image Download Back Image Download 8.5x11 Image
Download 16x20 Image
Download Front PDF Download Back PDF Download 8.5x11 PDF
Download 16x20 PDF

First Response to Victims of Crime

BY National Sheriffs' Association

A guidebook for law enforcement officers on best practices when responding to victims of crime, including human trafficking


Building a Local Crisis Response to Human Trafficking

BY National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

Online presentation on how to develop a successful crisis response in your community. This presentation is intended for use by a variety of key stakeholders, including law enforcement officials, service providers, legislators, community groups and others.  


Human Trafficking and Law Enforcement

BY National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

During the period between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015, callers representing law enforcement agencies made total of 664 substantive calls to the NHTRC hotline.


Human Trafficking Three Part Roll-Call Training Video (Can only be found online)

This roll call training video is broken down into three segments, Defining the Crime, Identifying and Responding, and Investigating and Interviewing. Discussion questions to accompany the roll call training video can be found here:

Victim Translation Assistance Tool: Life Support Messages for Victims of Human Trafficking


VITA is a unique tool using audio messages that allows law enforcement officials to provide a level of basic assistance to victims of human trafficking. 


Toolkit for Law Enforcement Use of the U-Visa

BY Legal Momentum; VERA Institute Of Justice American University Washington College Of Law

A toolkit for law enforcement personnel explaining U-Visa application processes and forms


Human Trafficking Task Force E-Guide

BY Department Of Justice Office For Victims Of Crime (OVC)

The Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide is an online resource that provides practical information on the creation and day-to-day operations of human trafficking task forces, with updated case exam


Working with Foreign National Child Victims of Trafficking

BY National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC)

An online training for service providers and law enforcement working with foreign national minor victim of trafficking


Additional Bureau of Justice Assistance and the International Association of Chiefs of Police Resources:

Enhancing Law Enforcement Human Trafficking Task Force Operations Project

This project provides law enforcement related training and technical assistance to BJA/OVC-funded task forces.

Child Sex Trafficking: A Training Series for Frontline Officers Toolkit

The toolkit contains a series of training videos depicting sworn law enforcement officers demonstrating alternative responses to different types of scenarios involving child sex trafficking. Includes pre-training instructions for supervisors, discussion guide, tip card, fact sheet, indicator list, glossary of terms and a pull-out 11 x 17 poster with fillable field for local point of contact for referrals.  

Child Sex Trafficking: A Training Series for Frontline Officers Online Training

The online training course was developed for law enforcement officers on how to recognize and respond to child sex trafficking and is built on the videos from the toolkit.

Template Presentation on Child Sex Trafficking

Template presentation on child sex trafficking for law enforcement to utilize in developing training that incorporates the toolkit and training video series. This presentation is customizable to their local jurisdiction.

Combating Child Sex Trafficking: A Guide for Law Enforcement

This guide aims to assist law enforcement leaders in adopting effective multidisciplinary approaches to address child sex trafficking in their community.

The Crime of Human Trafficking: A Law Enforcement Guide to Identification and Investigation

This guide includes information on federal law, tools for identification, investigation and response and resources for victim assistance.

Additionally, be sure to visit for more information on law enforcement resources to combat Human Trafficking.