More than 900 law enforcement officers have participated in training at South Texas College’s new Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence (RCPSE) since January 2019, according to RCPSE Chief Administrator Paul Varville who spoke at STC’s President’s Advisory Council Committee June 27.

“What we are working towards is more educational opportunities for law enforcement officers in the Rio Grande Valley, providing them with advanced skills and knowledge of techniques to combat cybercrime and other evolving threats to our community,” Varville said.

STC is the first border community college in the nation to establish integrative training for local, state and federal professionals in law enforcement, public safety, fire safety, and homeland security along with the US/Mexico border.

The President’s Advisory Council meeting was organized to identify strategies that will be used in the development of the college’s 2020 RCPSE training implementation plan. The Council serves as the principal means to develop advanced training programs at the RCPSE and to ensure that those programs remain current with evolving technology.

Following an electronic survey sent to law enforcement asking for input about the types of training most needed for officers, Varville said the College has embarked on a training program to develop courses most needed by law enforcement.

Current goals of the RCPSE include prioritizing the most sought after instruction required by federal, state, county, municipal, and school district law enforcement, further developing partnerships with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), and assisting agencies in recruiting future law enforcement officers.

In 2018, STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed extended an invitation to regional leaders in the law enforcement community to participate on the Advisory Council in order to provide recommendations for professional continuing education and college degree programs.

The $71.28 million long-range master plan is on a 64-acre site, in Pharr, Texas with additional acres available for future expansion. The Master Plan includes 534,385 square feet of buildings, target range, emergency vehicles operational course, and fire science structures to be completed in three phases over the next decade.

“It’s important that we develop partnerships to be able to respond to law enforcement needs,” said Wanda Garza, STC Director of External Affairs. “This is about access to facilities and equipment and asking ‘how can we do this?’ Our discussion with you is how we leverage the training funds to be able to provide this to you within our partnership.”

Upcoming Trainings: STC RCPSE will next hold a free 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training for officers on July 8, and an eight-hour course on cellphone investigative techniques hosted by the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office on July 16.