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Convenience Store Group Joins State Agencies in Human Trafficking Fight

By / Jan 22, 2020 (Neustockimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association is teaming with law enforcement officials in the state to provide training to store workers to help them recognize the warning signs of human trafficking.

The state of Wisconsin has a new set of partners in its fight against human trafficking.

This week, the state’s attorney general, Josh Kaul, along with the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, announced a plan to train convenience store workers to recognize warning signs of human trafficking, with the help of the Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association. The new collaboration comes during 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 news release. “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 training to WPMCA members at the association’s annual conference, and materials will be distributed at the tradeshow there. A series of seminars will be held across the state, and WPMCA will share information with members throughout the year to increase understanding of human trafficking in the industry.

WPMCA Chair Andrew Bowman, of Stop-N-Go in Madison, noted that convenience store employees “are constantly interacting with the motoring public. We are excited to join the fight to prevent this horrible crime.”

Last year, in a similar partnership, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores and the nonprofit In Our Backyard sponsored a campaign focused on identifying and assisting trafficking victims around the Super Bowl in Atlanta. That effort, called Convenience Stores Against Trafficking, won a Power of A Summit Award from ASAE.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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