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WESTLAKE, Ohio — TravelCenters of America LLC, operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, is partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking.
"Groups whose principal concern is putting an end to human trafficking in the U.S. are becoming increasingly aware of the advantages of working with key infrastructure elements like airports and travel centers to get their important message out," said Tom O'Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters. "A company like TravelCenters of America, with more than 250 sites that almost literally blanket the U.S. Interstate Highway system, can help."
O'Brien noted that TravelCenters' employees and customers, particularly those in the trucking industry, have been extremely supportive of the company's efforts since it began working with the group Truckers Against Trafficking in 2011.
"The employees, customers and both of the groups we are working with, the DHS Blue Campaign and Truckers Against Trafficking, recognize that our locations, just off highway exits nationwide, can be key vantage points from which to be on the lookout for and report suspicious activity," O'Brien explained. "Our expanded effort ... allows the professional truck driver community and our team to utilize the DHS Blue Campaign's resources, including further training modules for our employees and information for employees and customers about this issue."
The DHS Blue Campaign, working in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations, aims to protect the basic right of freedom and bring those who exploit human lives to justice, according to the announcement. The DHS Blue Campaign raises public awareness about human trafficking, leveraging partnerships to educate the public to recognize human trafficking and report suspected human trafficking.
More information on the campaign is available at www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.
Westlake-based TravelCenters of America operates 251 full-service locations in 43 states and Canada.