EDINBURG – Law enforcement officials and staff from more than 30 departments and agencies in Hidalgo County participated in a first of its kind, day-long training conducted by the county’s Criminal District Attorney’s office.

The Law Enforcement Summit, which was held Thursday, Dec. 6 at the McAllen Convention Center, highlighted what is needed to ensure that investigations and arrests result in successful prosecution.Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr said there has been a dramatic shift in the field of law enforcement that includes new roles and changing conditions.

“By sharing information on what our office needs from law enforcement, the men and women charged with public safety have additional tools in their arsenals to ensure their cases result in successful prosecutions,” Rodriguez said. “We are proud to partner with our Hidalgo County law enforcement agencies as we strive to become more efficient and effective in dispensing justice.”

Among the agencies in attendance was the Texas Department of Public Safety, South Texas Region; local Police Departments; the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office; Hidalgo County Constable offices; and ISD, College, and University Police Departments. DPS South Texas Regional Director Jose C. Rodriguez III said the training provided valuable insight into the District Attorney’s office.

“This Summit is another example of District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez’ commitment to establishing great partnerships with law enforcement,” said Rodriguez III.  “Because of this partnership, we can better collaborate and therefore keep our Hidalgo County community safe.”

Division Chiefs and staff from the Special Crimes, Intake, Felony, Misdemeanor, Juvenile, Civil and Check Fraud divisions as well as from the Domestic Violence, and Victims units each presented sessions in their specialties. The presentations touched upon practical and legal issues that confront the DA’s office and law enforcement agencies.

Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra, who attended with 30 staff members, most of whom are supervisors, commended the DA for the opportunity to learn from each other.

“The sessions provided an opportunity for staff to become better acquainted with DA processes,” Guerra said. “One of the things that I found most helpful was the training on issues that often come up when turning in cases. We need to provide the District Attorney’s office with the tools to successfully prosecute our cases.”

While local law enforcement collaborates regularly, the opportunity to begin to implement processes that all agencies can adopt will enhance public safety, said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez.

“This was an excellent staff development seminar,” Rodriguez said. “The task here is to get us all on the same page. By virtue of providing this training, District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez has taken great steps to enhance the quality of law enforcement in Hidalgo County.”

According to the District Attorney’s office, the success of Thursday’s event will lead to other collaborative training sessions in the future.

“Hidalgo County law enforcement already collaborate on so many levels,” said D.A. Rodriguez. “The Summit added another layer to that collaboration as we pursue our common goals to coordinate and streamline expedient, effective, and efficient justice.”