Protection of Children (IPC) Program 2010-2022
As of July 2022, IPC is part of the Training Division of Texas DPS. Please contact DPS for the latest information on IPC program.
Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell and DPS Lieutenant Derek Prestridge co-founded the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) Program in April 2010. The program has rescued over 500 missing and endangered children in Texas since its founding. Please click here to read about this milestone achievement in September 2020. This nationally recognized program trains troopers and other law enforcement officers how to recognize suspicious behavior in children and adults leading to the identification and recovery of abducted and missing children.
Mitchell and Prestridge have traveled across the US training officers in other states. In addition, the IPC training has drawn interest from as far away as Canada and UK. Since the program’s inception, DPS has provided the IPC training to more than 10,000 officers in Texas, nationally and internationally.
"What we bring here is what every officer already knows, but they just haven't thought of it in these terms and they don't know how to articulate it. From a person's body language, to the language that they are using to items that might be present inside of a vehicle, or inside a home during a regular visit, or items that should be present that aren't there," said Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell. [KUTV, 2014]
“This program is applicable to law enforcement agencies of all sizes and gives officers the resources they need to recognize children who are in danger — with agencies often making their first rescue within six months,” said DPS Captain Derek Prestridge, who helped create the program and is now the IPC program supervisor. “People make assumptions that a child victim will cry out, and that’s not the case. The primary message IPC teaches is for us to stop waiting for children to tell you they are victims of trafficking, abuse and neglect. IPC trains front-line officers to take action when they come into contact with children who need their help.” [TXDPS, 2019]
Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell and DPS Captain Derek Prestridge
INTERDICTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN is a two-day training course designed to make patrol officers aware of the variety of resources available to assist them in establishing the status of a child who may be missing, exploited, or at risk of exploitation and what courses of action are immediately available. Upon completion, attendees will:
- Be able to establish the status of a child who may be abducted or endangered.
- Know resources available to them and courses of action to take when encountering an endangered child.
- Be able to identify research supported indicators of an endangered child and a high risk threat to children.
- Know the type of questions that need to be asked for a victim centered approach.
- Have a basic understanding of behavioral patterns of both suspects and victims.
- Know how to articulate their findings that are supported through research.
DPS partners with various law enforcement, victim services and child protective services agencies to provide IPC training. Nationwide, this specialized training has been provided to state troopers, including all Texas Troopers; police officers; sheriffs’ deputies; investigators; child protection services professionals; prosecutors and victim service professionals. Since 2014, this crucial training has been made available nationally with a grant through the Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Service.
The Texas Highway Patrol is the most visible branch to receive IPC training in the state. DPS Troopers stop approximately 3 million vehicles annually, affording a substantial opportunity to spot at-risk children.
In addition to rescuing children, IPC gives law enforcement the tools to be proactive and prevent crime by helping officers remove offenders from our streets and recognize high-risk threats to children that may have otherwise been overlooked. As a result, officers have initiated criminal investigations involving abduction, human trafficking, sexual assault of a child, sex offender non-compliance and possession of child pornography.
Please click here to watch an interview with Ranger Mitchell about the program.
Please click here to read more about the IPC program from the Law Enforcement Bulletin written for the FBI.