FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2020
HUNTSVILLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT EMPLOYEES RECOGNIZED FOR COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
HUNTSVILLE, ALA. -
The Department of Homeland Security / Transportation Security Administration recognized four Huntsville International Airport employees today for awareness and action that they believe prevented and protected a passenger utilizing the airport from becoming a victim of human trafficking. The employees recognized were Huntsville International Airport Public Relations and Customer Service Manager Jana Kuner, Huntsville International Airport Chief of Public Safety Chris Scott, Huntsville International Airport Public Safety Lieutenant Heath Murphy and Delta Airlines Station Manager Randy Tiemann.
The Department of Homeland Security identifies human trafficking as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations.
Language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement frequently keep victims from seeking help, making human trafficking a hidden crime.
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
Recognizing key indicators of human trafficking is the first step in identifying victims, potential victims and can help save a life.
“The DHS Strategy for combating Human Trafficking is modeled after the four Ps- Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships”, said Gail Linkins, TSA Federal Security Director, State of Alabama. “On January 14, 2020 three Huntsville International Airport employees and one Delta Airlines employee became aware of and took action that prevented a young woman traveling out of the Huntsville International Airport from becoming a victim of human trafficking.”
“The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force stated that human trafficking is now the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and notes that this is not just a global epidemic, but a local one as well”, said Rick Tucker, CEO of Huntsville International Airport. “Through our Customer Service Training program we teach our employees and all of our partner organization’s employees at HSV to always be alert to customer needs. This awareness includes everything from simple conveniences all the way up to security measures utilizing the Department of Homeland Security’s See Something Say Something campaign. In this instance we had several employees that took that training to heart, noticed some irregularities and ultimately saved the life of a passenger that was confirmed to have been targeted for human trafficking. We will continue this training with our employees because our passengers are our priority at Huntsville International Airport. We encourage others to make themselves aware of DHS’s Blue Campaign and if they See Something to Say Something.”
Tweet This: TSA Federal Security Director says four @FLYHSV employees took action to prevent a passenger from becoming a victim of human trafficking. (Link to story)
You can find photos of the presentation at FlyHuntsville.com or at Facebook.com/HuntsvilleInternationalAirport
About Huntsville International Airport
The Port of Huntsville operating entities include: Huntsville International Airport (HSV), International Intermodal Center, Jetplex Industrial Park, Signature Flight Support, Four Points Sheraton, Sunset Landing Golf Course and Foreign Trade Zone #83. Huntsville International Airport (HSV) is the largest commercial airport in North Alabama, serving over 1 million passengers annually. For more information, visit http://www.flyhuntsville.com/.
About the Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is responsible for a workforce of approximately 60,000 employees charged with protecting U.S. transportation systems and the traveling public. More info at TSA.gov