Training doctors, nurses to identify human trafficking victims

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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -- The Michigan Attorney General's Office says many human trafficking victims interact with doctors and nurses while they're being trafficked, so they got Wayne State University's School of Medicine and the Wayne County Medical Society on board to create the training video.

It's intended to explain the crime, teach them how to approach a potential victim and get the victim help.

"We have a whole baseline of questions to go through with these people," said Michigan State Police Trooper Rick Jones. "And then, once they start realizing, 'OK, now we're starting to get identifiers,' then they start getting us involved into it."

Jones, who serves as the 3rd District human trafficking coordinator, says right now, one out of four runaways are being trafficked - and the problem is growing.

The 3rd District created a Human Trafficking Task Force a little over six to eight months ago. Since then, they've been working to train employees at the hospitals in Genesee and Shiawasee, Mich. counties.

Jones says now that they have more eyes looking out for victims, he's seen a difference in the overall efforts to end the crime.

He says the hospitals call them any day of the week and a member of the Task Force immediately goes to the hospital.

"So we can, you know, contact the people at the hospital and talk to them. And also for protection for them, because sometimes the people that are trafficking them will come to the hospitals and, you know, try and get them back. So, it's a very important thing for us to get there as quick as we can," he said.

The Task Force team then works with the victim, offering resources and counseling to help get them to safety.

For a look at the full training video, click the link in the 'Related Links' section of this story.

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