What Is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking is the exploitation of a human being through force, fraud, or coercion. It is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, or procurement of a person for labor or services for the sole purpose of involuntary servitude or forced commercial sex acts. This crime is a domestic and international issue that affects far too many women, men, and children.

What Is APD Doing To Combat Human Trafficking?

The Arlington Police Department's anti-human trafficking efforts begin with the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit. This team of dedicated professionals is part of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force, Tarrant County Human Trafficking Task Force, and the North Texas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

HEAT works with task force partners and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by focusing on a victim center lead model.

Arlington PD HEAT Unit

The mission of the unit includes:

  • Assisting in proactive investigations of sex trafficking and labor trafficking crimes involving men and women, adults and minors, and domestic and foreign national victims within the capacity of the task forces.
  • Identifying victims of all forms of human trafficking and offering a comprehensive array of restorative services to meet each victim's individual needs.
  • Supporting the prosecution of trafficking crimes on state and federal levels.
  • Enhancing the community's capacity to identify and report trafficking crimes by conducting training, public awareness, and outreach activities.

HEAT is committed to searching for and rescuing victims by pursuing investigations of individuals and organizations that will result in criminal prosecutions.

Human Trafficking Indicators for Victims

  • Appears to be controlled by someone
  • Access to communication devices and transportation does not exist
  • Moves around frequently
  • Lack of personal possessions
  • Signs of abuse or torture
  • Work against their will and in poor working conditions
  • Brands of scarring or tattooing that indicates ownership
  • Heavily traveled area (residence) by men
  • Large number of occupants for living space
  • Unexplained absence from school
  • Minor that dresses provocatively or in clothing that is not age appropriate
  • Juvenile (female or male) who may have a sexually transmitted disease
  • Appear to be fearful of law enforcement / doesn't make eye contact
  • Work and live in the same place
  • Foreign individuals who do not have possession of identification / documents
  • Looks to someone else for approval before speaking to others
  • Someone who has no sense of time or knowledge of the area he / she lives in
  • A person who does not appear to have free will to leave
  • Someone else who insists upon speaking / interpreting for the individual

How to Report Human Trafficking

For any emergencies or immediate police assistance, call 911.

If you're concerned you or someone you know may be a victim of Human Trafficking, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

Additional Resources

For more information about combatting human trafficking or to learn more about local organizations who work with human trafficking survivors and their families, click on the following links:

Request a Presentation

The HEAT Unit is available to provide presentations on human trafficking prevention to interested community groups and organizations. To request a presentation, click here and submit an email.

Be sure to include your contact information, the name of your group / organization, requested dates, and the scope of your request (where will the presentation be taking place, does the location have audio / visual capabilities, what is the anticipated number of people attending, what age group are you requesting the presentation be geared towards, etc).

A member of the HEAT Unit will follow up with you.