WEST PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - Barkley Regional Airport in west Paducah is doing its part to help put an end to human trafficking.
“Although we’re a small airport, it happens everywhere. Whether it’s in big cities, small towns or even a rural area,” said Dennis Rouleau, Barkley Regional Airport’s executive director.
“It takes everyone to be involved in it. Not just law enforcement,” he said.
To get involved, airport employees are supporting the Blue Lightening Initiative, led by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Homeland Security. They’re trained to identify potential human traffickers and victims.
“For example, if they approach the ticket counter or they approach the TSA and someone’s controlling their identification, and they have people behind them that they’re trafficking,” said Rouleau.
If travelers see something suspicious, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends asking yourself some questions. Does the potential victim have freedom of movement? Does the person seem coached on what to say? Can the victim freely contact family and friends?
“It’s just like anything else. If you see something, you say something,” he said.
Rouleau said he does not know of any human trafficking incidents at the airport, but it’s still important to be aware.
“So we wanna make sure that we do our part to make sure this type of behavior doesn’t happen here at Barkley Regional Airport. We felt it’s just the right thing to do,” he said.
If you suspect someone’s involved in human trafficking, call 911 and the human trafficking hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “help” or “info” to 233-733.
January is Human Trafficking Prevention month.