AUSTIN – April marks the 10-year anniversary of the creation of the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is proud to celebrate the milestone for this lifesaving program. IPC was launched in Texas in 2009 in an effort to equip law enforcement officers with the tools to recognize indicators of missing, exploited, at-risk and endangered children. As a result of the IPC program, law enforcement officers can more readily identify and rescue children, as well as arrest suspects.
“The Interdiction for the Protection of Children program gives law enforcement officers additional tools to help them police our streets and identify children who are at risk or endangered,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “Thanks to the IPC training that DPS has provided to its law enforcement partners, hundreds of vulnerable children throughout the country and internationally have been located and rescued over the last decade.”
DPS partners with various law enforcement, victim services and child protective services agencies to provide IPC training. Nationwide, this specialized training has been provided to state troopers, police officers, sheriffs’ deputies and investigators, as well as child protection services professionals, prosecutors and victim service professionals. Additionally, all Texas Troopers undergo IPC training.
“I’m proud of the dedication and initiative taken by DPS Capt. Derek Prestridge more than 10 years ago to develop this critical program. Since then, DPS has proactively worked to prevent and detect crimes against children by providing this essential training to our Troopers and fellow officers,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Human trafficking and other crimes that target innocent children are reprehensible, and through the IPC program, we will continue to aggressively target these vile and cowardly criminals.”
Since the first IPC course 10 years ago, more than 9,000 individuals in Texas, across the nation and around the globe have received this training. IPC has been credited for leading to the rescue of hundreds of children, including 424 children who have been rescued by DPS Troopers.
In addition to rescuing children, IPC gives law enforcement the tools to be proactive and prevent crime by helping officers remove offenders from our streets and recognize high-risk threats to children that may have otherwise been overlooked. As a result, officers have initiated criminal investigations involving abduction, human trafficking, sexual assault of a child,sex offender non-compliance and possession of child pornography.
The 10th anniversary of IPC also coincides with National Child Abuse Prevention Month. DPS is committed to continuing this critical work with law enforcement partners and child protection advocates across the globe to better position them to help protect all children.