Texas Border Business
McAllen, Texas – South Texas College’s highly anticipated Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence (RCPSE) will celebrate its grand opening with a building dedication ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
The center is dedicated to all the local, state, and federal law enforcement, public safety, and fire science professionals.
The ceremony will focus on the 19,500 square-foot Phase 1 investment that includes a spacious training center for students, a driving skills/skid pad, and shooting and driving simulation labs.
The center is intended to meet the demand for highly skilled professionals in public safety, law enforcement, fire science, and homeland security careers. The center will make South Texas College the first border community college in the nation to establish integrative training along the US/Mexico border.
Phase 1 is part of a $71 million long-range master plan that will transform the regional center into a public safety, law enforcement, fire science, and homeland security campus by 2030. It will also include 180 additional acres available for future expansion.
South Texas College President, Dr. Shirley A. Reed says the new center will have a major impact on the area.
“South Texas has a growing demand for highly skilled law enforcement professionals to ensure public safety in the region, the state of Texas, and the nation,” said Dr. Reed. “The 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.”
The RCPSE is part of the $159 million bond project passed by voters in Nov. 2013. Contributions and partnerships by the City of Pharr, PSJA ISD, and the Texas Department of Public Safety also made the construction of this center possible.
“We are excited to welcome STC’s Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence and its cutting-edge technology, education, instructors, and resources that will train the next generation of public safety and law enforcement officers,” said Pharr Mayor, Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez.
“This project is a great example of what a community can accomplish by working together for the same cause,” said PSJA ISD Superintendent, Dr. Daniel King. “Our goal was to expand the higher education opportunities in our tri-city area and we are proud to support STC, in partnership with the City of Pharr, to provide our residents with easier access to higher education, which means better career opportunities and quality of life for our families.”
Paul Varville, STC Chief Administrator for the Department of Public Safety will oversee the new STC RCPSE.
“I will be assisting in the development of continuing education and professional development training for federal, state, county, and local law enforcement personnel,” said Varville. “We are very excited for the official opening of this center.”
The building dedication ceremony will take place at the STC Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence located at 4300 S. Cage Blvd. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m. Photos and b-roll will be available for media who are unable to attend the event.
In attendance will be local, federal, and state officials, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
STC Executive Officer of External Affairs, Wanda Garza says the RCPSE is all about collaboration.
“We are really transcending a partnership model, it’s very unique in the nation,” said Garza. “We are setting the new blueprint of a very integrated federal, state, and local partnership, it’s transformative.”
“STC’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 Texas State Senator, Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. “This much-needed facility will improve law enforcement training and public safety for our families in the Rio Grande Valley. Its success depends on our continued support.”
Dean of Business, Public Safety, and Technology Mario Reyna expects the center to be a world-class learning environment.
“Future cadets for fire and police will have access to a multi-million dollar complex with the latest equipment that uses virtual reality scenarios to prepare them for their new professions,” said Reyna. “In addition, continuing and professional education will be offered to all first responders and homeland security professionals to satisfy the needs of their profession.”
To learn more about the STC Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence visit https://www.southtexascollege.edu/rcpse/.