Human trafficking remains a top concern for homeland security and emergency management officials in Harris County.
County leaders Tuesday heard from human rights advocates about picking up signs of human trafficking, especially after a disaster such as Harvey, and how they can apply those tips moving forward.
“There's a human trafficking nexus to terrorism, some of those might be funded by groups that are involved with gangs,” says Francisco Sanchez, the county's deputy emergency management coordinator.
“So every couple months we call in some experts to say 'hey, here are things to look out for, here are some recent trends,' and share that so we're better as a community identifying and reporting it, and hopefully as public safety organizations, following up to see what's actually happening and if something illegal is happening, be able to shut that down pretty quick.”
Sanchez says everyone from police to fire, to FBI could potentially spot a victim or criminal involved in human trafficking.
“Potential tattoos or how the way they're done,” he says. “How someone reacts if you ask them about those tattoos. The kinds of institutions and places where you need to look out for certain kinds of things.”