Scottsdale Employees First in AZ Trained to Identify Victims of Human Trafficking
Press Conference to Announce More than 75% of the City’s Employees Were Trained through AATN’s CEASE Program
SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) will hold a press conference in partnership with the Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network (AATN) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to announce Scottsdale as the first city in Arizona to train a majority of its public employees on how to identify, report, and prevent human and sex trafficking.
“Raising awareness is one of the best weapons in our fight against human trafficking,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Training employees to recognize and
respond to the warning signs of this terrible crime can make a life-saving difference for victims in need.”
Tourism is a huge industry in Scottsdale, where high-profile special events attract millions of visitors every year. Unfortunately, bad actors are also drawn to popular destinations to traffic victims. Combating the issue requires the involvement of the entire community, which is why the City of Scottsdale is working with the AGO, AATN, and HSI to offer this training.
To date about 1,700 of Scottsdale’s 2,000 employees across all departments have completed free training through AATN’s CEASE (Cities Engaged Against Sexual Exploitation) program. The goal is to bring this training to every city in Arizona.
“I could not be more pleased in our partnership with AATN and the training they provided that allowed Scottsdale to become the first designated CEASE city in Arizona,” said Scottsdale Police Chief Jeff Walther. “Since receiving the training, at least three city employees have identified indicators of human trafficking and reported it to our Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit.”
AATN also provides training for hospitality staff at hotels as part of the
SAFE (Safeguarding All From Exploitation) Action Project, a free program designed for tourism industry professionals.
Hotel Valley Ho was the first hotel in Arizona to receive its SAFE certification in 2020, after approximately 220 employees completed the training, including front desk, guest services, security, housekeeping, and additional support staff.
“Much of what we do is about educating people at all levels to identify the red flags of human trafficking,” said AATN’s President and Board Chair John Meza. “Our partnership with AAGO and HSI has made a great impact on combating the exploitation of vulnerable individuals in our community.”
A press conference to highlight the human trafficking issue in Arizona and announce the City of Scottsdale’s achievement is scheduled for
Wednesday, June 22 at 1:30 p.m. It will be held in the SoHo Ballroom at the Hotel Valley Ho.
Speakers will include:
- Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich
- Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega
- Scottsdale Police Chief Jeff Walther
- AATN President/Board Chair John Meza