May 5, 2015 6:30 PM, EDT

Group Fighting Sex Trafficking Relies on Truckers as Watchdogs

Paris (right) by Eric Miller/Transport Topics
DALLAS — A nonprofit group fighting sex trafficking on the nation's highways issued an appeal that truckers and shippers train their employees to report suspicious activities.

"Truckers are the eyes and ears of our highways, and they see things that most do not," Kendis Paris, who heads Truckers Against Trafficking, told a session attending the 2015 ACT Expo here. 

The group is attempting to saturate the industry with training materials and has provided an 800 number so that truckers may report suspicious behavior at truck stops, rest stops and motels.

"We recognize that the trucking industry, by its sheer numbers, their excessive travel and the fact that they are in many locations that traffickers will pick out victims, could make a difference in the fight against domestic sex trafficking," Paris said.

Truckers have made more than 1,000 calls to the hotline.

"And they're giving very quality tips that are being turned over to law enforcement," she said.

"We would ask you if you have drivers, if you are a fleet owner to train your drivers," Paris added. "If you're a shipper, a manufacturer or in the logistics industry, we would ask you to use your influence within the trucking industry and help us spread the word."