First meeting set for Friday, April 27
Texas Border Business
McAllen, Texas – As South Texas College (STC) prepares for the opening of the new Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence (RCPSE) later this year, law enforcement from across the region will offer their input at the first President’s Advisory Council Luncheon on Friday, April 27.
Law enforcement professionals will begin offering their recommendations for identifying and developing training programs, expanding facilities and technology, and securing resources for current and future law enforcement and public safety professionals.
The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at STC’s Cooper Center, located at 3200 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen.
“South Texas has a growing demand for highly skilled law enforcement professionals to ensure public safety in the region and the State of Texas,” said STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed.
The Council will provide a forum for local, state, and federal public safety stakeholders to explore and address specialized skills, training opportunities, and priorities of regional significance.
President Reed recently extended an invitation to leaders of the law enforcement community for inclusion on the Advisory Council. The Council will now provide regular input and recommendations for professional continuing education and degree programs.
“We anticipate that these contributions from our law enforcement community will have a major impact on the successful implementation of the first community college Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence (RCPSE) along the southern border,” Dr. Reed said.
State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, will make opening remarks at the luncheon.
Representatives from federal agencies scheduled to be in attendance are Laredo Field Operations Director David Higgerson; RGV Border Patrol Sector Chief Manuel Padilla; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) assistant special agent in charge Maria Michel-Manzo; and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field office director Dan Bible.
Representing local police departments on the Council are McAllen Chief Victor Rodriguez; Mercedes Chief Olga Maldonado; Mission Chief Robert Dominguez; Pharr Interim Chief Jose Luengo; Rio Grande City Chief Noe Castillo; and Weslaco Chief Joel Rivera
“South Texas College’s Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence benefits our entire region by launching innovative programs in public safety, law enforcement, border security and fire science,” said Sen. Hinojosa. “This much-needed facility will improve law enforcement training and public safety for our families in the Rio Grande Valley.”
Ahead of the college’s opening of the RCPSE by the fall, the Council will recommend appropriate training facilities, resources, and curricula in order to provide students with the skills essential for employment in the law enforcement and public safety sector.
As the new RCPSE gets underway, local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies will begin assisting STC in the development of training programs that will best serve current and future public safety workforce needs.
South Texas has a growing demand for highly skilled law enforcement professionals to ensure the safety of citizens in the region. In preparing for these challenges, voters approved a $159 million bond in 2013, which included $4.2 million to establish the RCPSE.
The City of Pharr donated 54 acres worth $2.5 million, and Texas legislators appropriated $1.54 million for a vehicle-driving track, driving and firearms simulator, and patrol units. PSJA ISD contributed 10 acres and $1 million for construction of classrooms to serve dual credit students.
In March 2016, STC engaged with construction management firms to assist with the development of a $71 million long-range master plan that will serve as the roadmap for the RCPSE campus over the next 20 years.
“This Center is a joint effort by the State of Texas, South Texas College, the City of Pharr and PSJA ISD,” Sen. Hinojosa said. “Its success depends on our continued support.”