National Human Trafficking Prevention Month: Police say “stay aware”

DECATUR, Ala. - The City of Decatur's location off interstate 65, near a major city like Huntsville, makes it a prime target for human traffickers.

Decatur Police Department wants to make sure, especially as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, they have traffickers on their radar.

Police Chief Nate Allen said he charges the community with being more transparent about suspicious activity.

"We have a lot of communities in Decatur that are closed, that don't report a lot of things to the police department," he explained. "That's why we're reaching out to you all."

Police said while no one has reported any suspicions of human trafficking in the city, that doesn't mean it isn't happening.

"The community is our eyes and ears out there," Allen continued. "They can tell us exactly what's going on in the community. Most of all, the community knows who belongs and who doesn't."

Police said the signs of human trafficking could be as simple as someone seeming out of place and avoiding eye contact.

Allen said what comes after someone is rescued from being trafficked is normally uncomfortable.

"It could be very traumatic for the victim, it could be a long tedious process for the victim," he explained. "So we need to have actual social services come alongside the victim and walk with them. Kind of hold their hand and show them exactly what to do and what to expect."

Authorities remind the community that arrests and prosecution can not take place if people stay silent about these crimes.


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