DPS Partners With Choctaw Nation To Offer Child Protection Program

Choctaw Chief Gary Batton (at left) and DPS Major Derek Prestridge (at right).

AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer a two-day Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program.

“The IPC program is proven to help save the lives of children,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS is honored to partner with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to offer this training to an entirely new group of law enforcement officers who will now have the tools and training to step in and take action for children who need help.”

Representatives from two dozen agencies took part in the training, which was held at the Choctaw Casino & Resort Conference Center, including the Choctaw Nation Department of Criminal Justice and Choctaw Nation Tribal Police.

“To be able to start a partnership with Texas DPS, with their training knowledge and skill set to pass it along and network with Oklahoma law enforcement – especially tribal police – is vital,” said Choctaw Tribal Police Chief Jesse Petty.

During the training, DPS Major Derek Prestridge presented Choctaw Tribal Police with a Texas State flag, which had flown over the Texas Capitol to commemorate the partnership between the two law enforcement agencies in the protection of children and interdiction of human trafficking.  

“We are so thankful for all these groups coming together and taking the lead from the Texas DPS,” said Gary Batton, Chief of the Choctaw Nation. “We are the first tribal nation to ever partner with anyone to provide this type of training, education and awareness.” 

This important training was made possible through a grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – the component of the U.S. Department of Justice responsible for advancing the practice of community policing by the nation’s state, local, territorial and tribal law enforcement agencies through information and grant resources.

The Texas DPS COPS Grant objective is to develop and exchange practice-based innovation in community policing or expand the body of data regarding effectiveness in an effort to enhance goal skills and strategies to address crime or advance public safety.