Homeland Security details anti-human trafficking efforts during The World Games
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The World Games has thrust Birmingham into the international spotlight. Thousands of guests from all over the world are spending time in the Magic City, but with the large crowds comes certain dangers.
Preparation has been the key for the Department of Homeland Security. They have worked along side Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been preparing for the World Games for over three years, with agents coming in from all across the country to ensure public safety.
“Currently we have well over 100 special agents and support personnel detailed to Birmingham, Alabama,” said Resident Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations Doug Gilmer.
Gilmer and his team have also fought to raise awareness on the potential dangers and signs of human trafficking.
“We have trained literally thousands of law enforcement officers across the greater Birmingham metro area. We have trained hotels, health care workers and we have done a significant amount of community training,” said Gilmer.
That training has been critical, and has actually led to several arrests just with in the last two weeks.
“All of those efforts we have seen pay off since the games have started, even leading up to the games with calls, tips and leads coming into the command center, and they are things we have been able to make actionable,” said Gilmer.
The team’s command center is where support staff and agents are combing through leads and tips to keep the community safe.
“It has been, I think, incredibly successful. It surpassed the benchmarks I think that we had. Unfortunately, we have made a number of arrests and we have identified a number of human trafficking victims during The World Games,” said Gilmer.
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