Northern Michigan University Department of Continuing Education and Workforce hosts human trafficking training

NMU is trying to put an end to human trafficking.
On Tuesday morning, NMU hosted a virtual human trafficking training session.
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 11:06 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - National Human trafficking hotline data showed that in 2021, 1,186 cases of human trafficking were identified in Michigan.

In response to this data, Northern Michigan University’s (NMU) Department of Continuing Education and Workforce is planning for the future. On Tuesday morning, NMU hosted a virtual human trafficking training session.

“Today’s goal and objective are to provide service providers, people in education people in health care the knowledge to be able to more readily identify traffic individuals,” said UPHTTR President and presenter Stepanie Graef.

Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force president also said that human trafficking affects not just those individuals but also their families and entire communities.

she also expressed to attendees that their organization runs on four main pillars, prevention being the most important one.

“Prevention measures help us understand the realities and the scoop and the prevalence of these crimes and this is where we start.” Said Graef.

Michigan State Police Lt. Mark Gianunzio said the U.P. doesn’t see too much human trafficking. However, being educated on the issue is still very important.

“When we do see it it’s drug-related, and it is associated when our upset narcotics enforcement team is doing their undercover operations that are typically when we see that human trafficking aspect of a crime takes place,” said Giannunzio.

Gianunzio also said sometimes something as simple as a traffic stop can help police determine if a person is in danger.

“Why is this person with this person, where are they from where they are going what are the details behind this traffic stop at times then we will contact our detective’s undercover teams to come in and assist with those investigations.” Giannunzio.

Both the law enforcement and the U.P. human trafficking task force say if you anything out of the ordinary, say something.