KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Police Department will participate in a human trafficking awareness initiative this week.

The department’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Squad will take part in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative, which runs Jan. 9-13.

The KCPD unit does random inspections of commercial vehicles, and this week, officers will be handing out information from Truckers against Trafficking. Officers will also be visiting local truck stops.

“Many think that this kind of thing happens somewhere else, to someone else, but we know it occurs everywhere and touches the lives of many right here in our own community,” KCPD Sgt. Grant Ruark said in a news release. 

“We want to give the honest, hardworking and caring commercial vehicle owners and operators the information they need to take action if and when they see this kind of thing going on,” Ruark added.

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, it received over 1,100 signals from Missouri in 2021, and over 350 were from victims or survivors of human trafficking.