AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway
Patrol Troopers in September rescued their 500th child during traffic stops
since the implementation of specialized training that began in 2009. Troopers
receive the training as part of the Interdiction for the Protection of Children
The IPC program training teaches officers to spot indicators
that a child is a victim or at risk of becoming a victim, and includes children
who are missing, exploited, at-risk or endangered. Troopers receive this
training through a two-day, 16-hour course that uses a child-centered approach
and to assess the totality of circumstances to determine if a child is at risk.
In addition to removing these children from dangerous
situations, the training also aids DPS in related child abduction, human
trafficking, possession of child pornography and sexual assault investigations.
“This is an outstanding contribution to public safety by our
Troopers who identified and rescued children during standard traffic stops,
even though the child could not necessarily vocalize they needed help,” said
DPS Director Steven McCraw. “At the same time, it helped us take reprehensible
criminals who prey on one of our most vulnerable populations off the streets.”
IPC marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. In addition to
child rescues, IPC has trained more than 10,000 people in its methods across
the U.S. and other countries, prompting groundbreaking changes in how agencies
improve accountability and approach child safety concerns.
IPC uses a multidisciplinary approach to train law
enforcement, prosecutors, criminal intelligence analysts, child protective
service, victim services and child advocacy center professionals collectively.
IPC continues to advocate the message: “Stop waiting for children to ask for