AUSTIN – On Sept. 21 & 22, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer a two-day Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program. IPC is a human trafficking and crimes against children class that trains front-line officers to recognize indicators that a child may be a victim, at risk of victimization or missing.
“The IPC program is proven to help save the lives of children,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS is honored to partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer this training to an entirely new group of law enforcement officers who will now have the tools and training to step in and take action for children who need help.”
Representatives from two dozen agencies took part in the training which was held at the Choctaw Casino & Resort Conference Center, including the Choctaw Nation Department of Criminal Justice and Choctaw Nation Tribal Police.
"To be able to start a partnership with Texas DPS, with their training knowledge and skill set to pass it along and network with Oklahoma law enforcement – especially tribal police – is vital,” said Choctaw Tribal Police Chief Jesse Petty.
During the training, DPS Major Derek Prestridge presented Choctaw Tribal Police with a Texas state flag which had flown over the Texas Capitol to commemorate the partnership between the two law enforcement agencies in the protection of children and interdiction of human trafficking.
“We are so thankful for all these groups coming together and taking the lead from the Texas DPS,” said Gary Batton, Chief of the Choctaw Nation. “We are the first tribal nation to ever partner with anyone to provide this type of training, education and awareness," added Batton.
This important training was made possible through a grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) - the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.
The Texas DPS COPS Grant objective is to develop and exchange practice-based innovation in community policing or expand the body of data regarding effectiveness in an effort to enhance goal skills and strategies to address crime or advance public safety.
Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) Program
DPS developed the IPC program to help front line law enforcement officers identify and rescue endangered or exploited children and identify those who pose a high-risk threat to a child. While law enforcement officers are well-trained and highly proficient in making observations of suspicious behaviors leading to arrests and successful interdictions of illicit drugs, weapons, and currency, this program works to expand their training and knowledge so they can take a victim-centered approach in working child victimization cases and identifying those who offend against children.
IPC is a comprehensive training course covering topics from understanding victims and offenders, legal issues and authority, working with children, the officer’s role to understanding indicators, intelligence reporting as well as identifying and working with local/state resources such as child and victim services. The program’s core message is to Stop Waiting for Children to Ask for Help
View photos from the two-day training on the DPS Facebook page.
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