Texas State Troopers Rescued 76 Endangered Children Last Year
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced today that DPS Troopers – with the support of the DPS Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, the Texas Rangers and DPS Special Agents – rescued 76 missing, exploited or at-risk children and initiated 42 related criminal investigations in 2016. “Children who go missing, who are abused or at-risk of being abused don’t always make an outcry for help when they encounter an officer,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “For this reason, the department’s IPC program is an indispensable tool; it has helped law enforcement across Texas, the nation and internationally to protect vulnerable victims, and ensure the criminals who target children face the full force of the law.” The IPC program was implemented in 2009 to teach law enforcement officers how to recognize indicators of endangered children who do not actively seek out help or exhibit obvious signs of abuse. As a result of receiving this specialized and targeted training, law enforcement officers can more readily identify and rescue children and arrest suspects.
As part of the 2016 totals, 19 children were rescued and 11 DPS IPC investigations were initiated in December alone. Additionally, DPS Victim Services counselors also provided emotional support and referrals to other resources to 181 of the rescued children and family members last year. The 42 criminal investigations initiated in 2016 focused on various alleged crimes, including:
- 20 cases of sexual assault of a child;
- 10 cases of possession of child pornography;
- Two cases of human trafficking;
- Two cases of indecency with a child; and
- Three cases of potential registered sex offender non-compliance.
Since the program’s inception, DPS has initiated more than 100 criminal investigations, and rescued more than 250 children as a result of this training. DPS partners with various law enforcement, victim services and Child Protective Services agencies to provide IPC training. To date, DPS has provided IPC training to its own officers as well as more than 6,500 other law enforcement and child protective service professionals in Texas, across the country and internationally. This training has also assisted other agencies in implementing similar programs within their own jurisdictions.
More than 50 Indiana State Troopers are ready to go solo
Tuesday was a big day for 54 probationary Indiana State troopers. They headed to Indianapolis to pick up their very own patrol cars. We're told they've been working hard for the last nine months. They spent six months in the academy, and the last three months training with other troopers. Now the Indiana State Police say they are ready to serve and protect their community. Sgt. Todd Ringle tells us it's a tremendous honor to be handed the keys to your first patrol car. "It is a very rewarding feeling to be able to get in that car all by yourself and go to work and do something you dreamed about doing for a long time," says Ringle. During the squad car ceremony, the State Police Chaplain said a safety prayer for each new trooper. Wednesday, they started working solo as Indiana State Troopers.
Florida Highway Patrol revives 'Arrive Alive' campaign but with a new twist
The Florida Highway Patrol-- along with local sheriffs and police chiefs-- is dusting off a decades-old 'Arrive Alive' program, but with a new twist. Data. Analysts are combing through mountains of crash data in an effort to isolate areas in each county where there has been an uptick in fatal car crashes or serious injuries. FHP Director, Colonel Gene Spaulding, says this doesn't just mean dusting off old signs. “We’re identifying hot spots-- three to five hot spots in every county. Where the biggest increase, the biggest number of fatal and serious bodily injury cases are occurring. And believe it or not, you’d be amazed at how it overlays with the crime in the area too. You look at the local crime data. So disability, presence, awareness, education, and enforcement, if need be, is the key to this program,” says Colonel Spaulding. The FHP director says one reason crime data mirrors crash data is because criminal elements include speeding, impaired driving, and driving recklessly.
Dodge is giving its new police cruiser some very RoboCop upgrades
The kinda dinky-looking 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit is about to get a futuristic upgrade—if you think the dystopian vision of Detroit from 1986 cyberpunk thriller RoboCop is what our future will look like, that is. Fiat Chrysler just announced a new feature for its police cruiser called the “Officer Protection Package.” The free upgrade is “designed to prevent an officer from being ambushed from the rear while parked,” Jeff Komer, the company’s VP of sales in the United States, said in a press release. By taking advantage of the car’s self-parking sensors, the Charger Pursuit will soon be able to detect if someone is approaching the police car from behind. When it does, the cruiser’s doors will automatically lock, the siren will go bloop, the rear lights will flash, and the rear camera will show the officer what’s happening behind the car. It almost feels like our police cars will soon be shouting, “your move, creep,” like the eponymous robotic cop. The new feature does come at a time when police ambushes are happening at an alarming rate. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fundreported in November that ambush killings of officers is at a 10-year high. This grim news came not long after a San Antonio officer was shot and killed after a man pulled up behind the cruiser, approached the window, and shot the officer while he was writing a traffic ticket. That same day in St. Louis, another man pulled up next to a police sergeant and shot the unsuspecting officer in the face. As odd as it sounds, it’s clear that some simple tweaks to existing technology could save the lives of policemen and women. The new Fiat upgrade just plugs into the Charger Pursuit OBDII port and offers law enforcement a new line of defense against bad guys. And at the end of the day, cops need all the help they can get in the line of duty.