NORTH MISSISSIPPI, (WCBI) – It’s a growing concern for law enforcement officers — human trafficking.
Just a few weeks ago MHP troopers came face to face with an alleged trafficking situation.
“What happened on that incident, they were actually helping on what they thought was a stranded motorist that was broke down, trying to help get them back on their way. But luckily, he had had some good training. And that allowed him to recognize some things and take the situation a little bit further,” said Beckom.
To the casual observer, the signs may be tough to spot. That’s why troopers and other officers get specialized training.
“We just pay close attention to you know, driver, passenger, the children, you know, what they may be wearing, You know, what they look like, if they’re well kept, and just, you know, we tend to ask more questions is what the training is kind of leading us into doing now,” said Beckom.
Sgt. Beckom said predators are also using the internet to connect them with potential victims all across the country.
“A lot of it is social media this day and time. So for you, parents, just be aware of what your children are doing on social media, Don’t just let them roam around as they want to no matter if they become angry at you or whatever. Just.. just know what they’re doing,” said Beckom.
From adults to children, Beckom said anyone could be targeted, and it could be someone you wouldn’t expect.
“They have this thing where they’ll get you as young as they can, and groom you to how they want you to think and act out in the public. So you may have someone standing right next to you that possibly could, you know, have been kidnapped. And their mindset is that they’re afraid for whatever reason to cry out for help,” said Beckom.
Beckom wants people to keep a close eye on their children, both girls, and boys, and if you see something suspicious call your local law enforcement.