Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

This week, more than six law enforcement agencies participated in a three-day certification course hosted by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department Training Center.

The 24-hour class was for intermediate certification in child abuse investigation, and counted towards the mandatory 40 hours of TCLOSE approved continuing education all law enforcement officers must receive every two years.

JWC Captain Louis Valadez, an organizer for the course, said several JWC deputies had already participated in the course, and that this was a good opportunity for many of the departments in the area, such as Premont PD, Freer PD and others, to gain the necessary certification to continue on to Intermediate Level Certification.

Other participants included the Kingsville police department, Sinton police, Texas A&M University-Kingsville police and constables from Nueces County.

"We had a total of about 27 officers participate in the course, which was led by a Del Mar instructor. This was one of the core classes that are necessary to move up to Intermediate Level certification," Valadez said.

During the course, officers were exposed to techniques that will help them to spot cases of child abuse.

They also reviewed the information and evidence required to put a child abuse case together and be able to file charges against an offender. Officers learned about the signs to look for if someone has been abused, the history behind child abuse and child labor laws and the different types of child abuse, including sexual, physical and psychological abuse.

Valadez said that Alice's centralized location, allows the sheriff's training center to be a vital location for educational advancement.

"The sheriff's department is committed to continued training for our officers, and as long as our training center functions as a meeting place for other area departments, we're proud to be able to host their courses, to allow them to get the training they need."