Texas Regional Center for Policing Innovation

by Randa Embry

The Texas Regional Center for Policing Innovation (TRCPI) has been hard at work creating and establishing their new training structure, providing fee-based training to agencies requesting community policing training or related workshops. TRCPI was excited to begin this new endeavor through a partnership with the Southeast Weed and Seed Program in Ft. Worth with a Community Engagement Workshop, which brought community members and law enforcement officers together for a full day to begin building relationships and creating lasting partnerships between the police and local community members, which is crucial to effective community policing efforts. This program, while developed for the Southeast Ft. Worth community, can be tailored to meet the needs of any community group, and TRCPI is looking forward to conducting several more of these beneficial workshops.

In addition to developing new, tailored training deliverables, TRCPI has been privileged with the opportunity to support Human Trafficking training, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. As a result, Human Trafficking Awareness training has been provided in several states and continues to be offered in Texas. This training provides a range of participants from law enforcement backgrounds to victim services information regarding this most atrocious crime-modernday slavery. TRCPI has also partnered with the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance of Harris County, a human trafficking task force comprised of agencies such as the Harris County Sheriff 's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the YMCA of Houston to provide a week-long immersion training for human trafficking task forces from around the country. Immersion learning not only gives visiting task forces the opportunity to learn more about human trafficking and effective investigations and prosecutions, but also provides crucial contacts and partnerships for future assistance or collaboration. Thus far, TRCPI has hosted task forces from Utah, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and is currently in the planning stages for future trainings.

In February, TRCPI conducted a DNA Seminar which reached over 100 participants and addressed DNA issues in effective prosecutions. Participants included law enforcement officers, attorneys, emergency service technicians, and crime lab technicians, among others. Additionally, TRCPI continues to provide community policing training, maintaining the basic mission and direction of community policing principles regardless of new partnerships or directions.

Speaking of new partnerships, TRCPI has recently joined the Rights Consortium, a human rights group of partners funded by the United States Agency for International Development, which includes Freedom House, a human rights organization, the American Bar Association, and the National Democratic Institute. The focus of projects resulting from this new partnership is rule of law, with a more specific target of order and security internationally. This partnership opens new doors, with the potential of participating in multiple international projects. We have certainly been busy, and we look forward to continuing to provide new and innovative community policing training and technical assistance not only in Texas, but abroad.

Member of The Texas State University System