Detective Joseph Scaramucci, a human trafficking investigator with the McLennan County Sheriff’s office, will be hosting two different presentations over knowing the signs of human trafficking. The first presentation for students will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday and the second for faculty will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, both in the Baker Pattillo Student Center movie theater.
According to Executive Director and Chief of Police John Fields, the goal of this presentation is to raise awareness of what is happening on a local, state, national and global level in hopes to curb human trafficking. Scaramucci will talk about contributing factors of human trafficking, resources for victims, how to look for warning signs and how to raise awareness.
Scaramucci has been working in law enforcement for 16 years and began investigating human trafficking cases in 2014. He participated in the national John Suppression events, where officers arrested 450 sex buyers. He also worked as a task force officer at both state and federal levels. This job led him to investigations throughout Canada, China, New Zealand and Guatemala.
Scaramucci told the Waco Tribune-Herald why he thinks it is important to raise awareness on human trafficking and why people need to take this problem more seriously.
“Human trafficking, prostitution and sex buyers are still a problem here, and it’s a problem worldwide,” Scaramucci said. “We need to fight it as hard as we can because these are human lives. These ladies are someone’s child, sister, mother, friend. Their life is no less deserving than that of anyone else.”
Fields encourages students and faculty to
come to the presentation to understand and learn about what is happening around them.
“I want them to understand and learn what is going on because they’re the ones being watched," Fields said. "We have an open campus. We want our students to be aware when they’re off campus, out in the community or traveling abroad and around the country to be aware to not become a victim. That’s the main theme here.”
According to Fields, human trafficking is a big issue all over the world, and he refers to it as the “modern day slavery.” And according to KVUE-ABC news, Texas ranks first in the nation for active human trafficking cases. In 2019, the human trafficking hotline reported 561 disclosed cases in Texas.
Fields said he has no power to stop human trafficking, but wants to raise awareness so the perpetrators could hear more people talking about the signs of human trafficking. He believes the more people talk about it, perpetrators will slowly stop what they are doing.
Mark Young is UPD’s new Emergency Management Director and helped plan the emergency management series, along with Public Safety Technology Specialist Ashley Schmidt, featured in this presentation. Young and Fields has a goal to make SFA’s campus the safest college campus in Texas.
“This is your campus," Young said. "Yes, we work here, but this is your campus as well. And you’re helping us keep the campus as safe as possible, because we can’t be everywhere at all times. That’s why we have other people educate everyone else, so they could help us make this the safest campus in Texas.”
Fields encourages students, staff and faculty to call UPD if they suspect something happening on campus.