South Texas College and the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute have entered a first-of-its-kind partnership to offer law enforcement leadership training for departments across the Rio Grande Valley at the college’s Regional Center for Public Safety Excellence in Pharr.
The first cohort of about 20 law enforcement agents – from departments including San Benito, Edinburg, Pharr, as well as from STC – recently started executive-level training through the leadership development series that will span over two weeks.
The UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute was created in 2008 through an innovative partnership between the Dallas Police Department and the University of North Texas at Dallas. Initially funded by the Communities Foundation of Texas, the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute originally focused on fulfilling the research, career advancement and leadership development needs of the Dallas Police Department, but today also serves law enforcement and public safety agencies throughout Texas, offering customized leadership courses, seminars, training and research design.
STC’s Vice President of Information Services, Planning, Performance and Strategic Innovation David Plummer, Ph.D. said the creation of this partnership is going to provide high-quality, high-impact training that benefits local and federal law enforcement throughout the Rio Grande Valley and state.
“The college strives to provide a full range of training from the entry-level police academy to advanced leadership courses,” said Plummer. “Our partnership with the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute is part of the higher-level training that will assist us in preparing our law enforcement community for leadership positions within their departments.”
Plummer added that this type of training, previously, was only offered outside of the Rio Grande Valley, requiring travel expenses that made this type of training difficult to receive. So, this partnership makes it more affordable and accessible.
Jeff Spivey, executive director of the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute said this training is going to help guide the future law enforcement leaders for the region.
“The UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute has for years provided excellent leadership development training and produced some of the most renown police leaders in the profession,” said Spivey. “The opportunity to offer that same training to a broader audience – which may have lacked access due to cost and distance – will ensure our profession has a larger pool of highly capable leaders to guide our future.”
He added that the vision of the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute has always been to expand its reach, so after creating an advisory board in 2019, made up of law enforcement agents from across the state, the invitation to bring its training to the Rio Grande Valley was explored and accepted.
“Our partnership with STC has progressed fast. The willingness on both sides to see this succeed is invaluable,” said Spivey. “We’re proud of our curriculum, and our training is some of the best in the state, so we’re excited to share this with STC, a college that already offers impressive training centers, facilities and faculty. STC’s commitment to public safety training aligns with our mission. It’s a perfect match.”
Over the next two weeks, the class, which is designed for police officers and sergeants who want to move into executive-level leadership, will explore theoretical concepts of leadership and provide research and community service opportunities.
Upon successful completion of the 40-hour class, there will be a graduation ceremony to honor the agents.
Pharr Police Department Senior Officer Irving Segura said after a recent promotion, he was looking for a training that could help him expand on his leadership skills.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this first cohort. This partnership is instrumental for me, for our Pharr Police Department and the other departments that serve our region,” said Segura. “From day one I could tell that this training, compared to others I’ve been to, is unique. The hands-on projects, the groupwork and community service set this class apart. It’s been eye opening, and I know this is going to help me be a better leader.”
Through this partnership, STC will have access to all the UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute Curriculum that also includes a Civilian Supervisor Series, Sergeant-level and Lieutenant-level trainings, among others.
Both Plummer and Spivey agree that they hope to reach a place in the partnership that will afford local law enforcement agencies training from UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute’s entire curriculum.
“The agreement that we have with STC gives full access and as we grow, we hope we can garner interest and get each of these classes taught here,” said Spivey.
“The UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute has a great reputation for providing high-quality training,” said Plummer. “We’ll be working with our law enforcement partners to determine their training needs. It’s great that we can partner and continue to provide that level of excellent training.”
For more information on the STC, UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute training programs, call 956-872-4208 or visit the STC website.
ABOUT SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE
Founded in 1993, South Texas College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers more than 127 degree & certificate options, including associate degrees in a variety of liberal art, social science, business, math, science, technology, advanced manufacturing and allied health fields of study. Additionally, South Texas College is the only community college in the state of Texas to offer five baccalaureate degrees. South Texas College has a faculty and staff of more than 2,700 to serve 28,000 students, on the college’s six campuses, two higher education centers, and one virtual campus.
ABOUT THE UNT DALLAS CARUTH POLICE INSTITUTE
The UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute was created by an innovative partnership between the Dallas Police Department and the University of North Texas at Dallas in 2008. The UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute was funded with an initial grant of $9.5 million from the Communities Foundation of Texas, and initially focused on fulfilling the complex research, career advancement, and leadership development needs of the Dallas Police Department. This puts the Dallas Police Department in the unique position of being a national resource for innovative and evidence-based strategies in policing. Today, UNT Dallas Caruth Police Institute serves law enforcement and public safety agencies throughout Texas, offering customized leadership courses, seminars, training, and research design. For more information, visit cpi.untdallas.edu