COTTAGE GROVE, Wis.—Attorney General Josh Kaul, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced that the state agencies will be working with the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (WPMCA) to increase understanding within the convenience store industry about human trafficking. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
“By identifying suspicious activity and reporting it to law enforcement, convenience store and gas station employees can help law enforcement fight human trafficking,” Kaul said in a statement. “This partnership will help more people know the signs of human trafficking and what to do when they see those signs.”
The state agencies will provide WPMCA and its members with training and materials to raise awareness about human trafficking and what convenience store managers and employees can do if trafficking is suspected. Seminars will be scheduled throughout the year and across the state to help increase understanding of human trafficking in the convenience store industry, Associations Now reports.
WPMCA Chair Andrew Bowman of Stop-N-Go said that the industry’s workers “are constantly interacting with the motoring public. We are excited to join the fight to prevent this horrible crime.”
NACS has partnered with In Our Backyard to help retailers combat human trafficking. The In Our Backyard’s Convenience Stores Against Trafficking (CSAT) program provides industry-specific materials and education on how to recognize and report human trafficking. For more on preventing human trafficking, see “In Your Backyard: C-stores take on human trafficking in their stores and communities” in the January 2020 NACS Magazine.