Multi-State Operation Rescues Endangered Children
AUSTIN, April 29, 2015 – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced today the outcomes of a recent multi-state, multi-agency Crimes Against Children Patrol Operation that resulted in law enforcement officers rescuing six missing or exploited children. The patrol initiative, which was conducted April 14-16, included participants from nine states and two municipalities.
“DPS is committed to pursuing the criminals who target and exploit innocent children, and this multi-agency patrol effort to detect and rescue endangered children is the first of its kind,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Because of this focused patrol operation, our local and state partners were able to rescue six children from possibly dangerous and deplorable circumstances. We are extremely proud of these efforts by our law enforcement officers to protect our most valuable and vulnerable resource – our children.”
Coordinated by Texas DPS, the three-day operation focused on increasing awareness among uniformed law enforcement officers and communities in an effort to identify and rescue missing, exploited or at-risk children. In addition to rescuing six children, participating officers in the areas of operation also rescued one adult victim, made four initial arrests, launched three investigations of sex crimes against children and two of human trafficking. DPS troopers recovered one child.
Participating agencies included Texas DPS, Austin Police Department, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arkansas State Police, Louisiana State Police, Georgia Department of Public Safety, Ohio State Highway Patrol, South Dakota Highway Patrol, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Utah Highway Patrol and Durham (England) Constabulary. The United States Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation also provided support when needed.
The operation also coincided with International Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, observed by communities and organizations to raise awareness of child abuse, and neglect and to educate the public on prevention.
This patrol initiative is an extension of DPS’ ongoing Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program, which was created to rescue and protect children and apprehend criminal predators. Launched in 2009, the IPC program is designed to teach troopers and other law enforcement officers how to recognize indicators of missing, exploited and at-risk children who do not exhibit obvious signs of abuse. Before the creation of the DPS Interdiction for the Protection of Children program, uniformed officers historically were not trained to recognize characteristics and indicators of an endangered or missing child.
Since 2009, the IPC program has been responsible for recovering more than 160 children and conducting more than 50 criminal investigations. IPC has also been responsible for uncovering crimes affecting children and arresting the perpetrators in instances involving: