POSTED: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 9:36am
UPDATED: Friday, March 21, 2014 - 7:39am
AUSTIN, TX (DPS) — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today announced the creation of the Texas Crimes Against Children Center (TCACC) within the Texas Rangers Division. This new center is dedicated to protecting children through the collection and dissemination of vital intelligence, investigative support and cooperation with victim-assistance counselors.
The TCACC will be providing support to local, state and federal partners on investigations related to missing and exploited children, the trafficking of children, child abductions and other high-risk threats to children. In these instances, the TCACC will work to identify known child victims or at-risk children through reports or ancillary investigations, facilitate communications between multiple agencies and identify investigation resources.
Texas records from the DPS Missing Persons Clearinghouse show more than 4,400 active cases of missing children up to 17 years of age. Additionally, DPS has already successfully implemented the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, which educates law enforcement officers about indicators to help identify and recover missing or exploited children during the course of a standard traffic stop, and to arrest suspects for sexual assault of a child.
As a result of IPC training, DPS has initiated more than 30 criminal investigations and recovered 112 missing or endangered children since 2010. Since the program’s inception, DPS has provided the IPC training to approximately 7,120 officers in Texas, nationally and internationally.
DPS has long been committed to protecting Texas children and supports that goal through these additional means:
- Using the DPS Sex Offender Registry and enforcing sex offender compliance.
- Posting information on the Missing Persons Clearinghouse website.
- Activating AMBER Alerts throughout the state when a child goes missing.
Speaking to children about how to recognize and avoid dangers in their community.