AUSTIN – 2022 was a tremendous year for the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program. IPC is a human trafficking and crimes against children program that trains front-line officers to recognize indicators that a child may be a victim, at risk of victimization or missing.
“Time and time again, the IPC program has saved the lives of children,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We are proud of this program and all the good it does, but we’re even prouder to be able to share this critical training with other agencies and law enforcement personnel across the country. We are confident more children, in more communities will be saved because of it.”
In the last year, DPS’ IPC personnel have traveled to seven states and Canada to get this valuable training into more areas. In 2022, the department has given 19 IPC basic classes and trained a total of 709 students. Personnel have attended 22 conferences and briefings to present to more than 1,800 people.
Here are some additional 2022 highlights:
- U.S. Lawmakers recognized the IPC program as a significant resource to protecting children nationally by signing S.3946 into law.
- DPS partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer a two-day training course, the first of its kind for a tribal nation. Read the full news release here and see photos from the training on the DPS Facebook page.
- IPC facilitated a scenario for B-2022 Trooper Trainee School’s Essential Skills/Joint Field Training Exercise, marking the first time an IPC scenario was conducted during the scenario-based training.
- In July of 2022, Queensland Police Service, Australia, gave evidence about the IPC program to the Murwillumbah Local Court. Intelligence was gathered through the IPC program on an adult male who was attempting to lure children. The intelligence was used to satisfy the Magistrate, indicating the adult male posed a threat to the safety of children. The Magistrate made an Offender Reporting Order which placed the adult male on the Child Protection Offender Registry for a period of 8 years.
- In September of 2022, a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper (IPC Instructor) assisted with a smuggling of persons traffic stop. While on scene, the Trooper recognized IPC indicators that the child was at risk. As a result of a joint effort between the Trooper, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Rangers, Department of Family & Protective Services – Child Protective Services, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, the adult female was arrested for aggravated kidnapping and the child was returned to its legal guardian. The investigation is ongoing.
- Two Texas Patrol Operation Briefings were presented in the border region for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and DPS personnel. Following the DPS briefing, an IPC traffic enforcement initiative was conducted in Hidalgo County.
IPC training has resulted in the rescues of thousands of trafficking victims and the opening of hundreds of criminal investigations. Since its inception, in Texas alone, over 500 children have been rescued and over 300 criminal investigations have been initiated.
More About IPC
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.
As of December 2022, IPC has trained more than 12,000 law enforcement officers and child service professionals in over 30 states, U.S. territories and tribal nations. The program’s core message is to Stop Waiting for Children to Ask for Help.
Learn more about how to request IPC training, here.