DPS partners with Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer IPC program

·2 min read

Sep. 23—AUSTIN — On Sept. 21 and 22, the Texas Department of Public Safety partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer a two-day Interdiction for the Protection of Children program, a press release detailed.

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," DPS Director Steven McCraw stated in the press release. "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," Choctaw Tribal Police Chief Jesse Petty stated in the press release.

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," Gary Batton, Chief of the Choctaw Nation, stated in the press release. "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 — 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.