11/3/2003 12:00 AM
The former TEEX Law Enforcement and Security Training Division has a new name and a new director as it moves toward attracting a wider audience for its training programs.
TEEX Public Safety & Security (PS&S)is reorganizing under the new leadership of Tom Shehan. At a meeting with division staff on Oct. 15, TEEX Director Robert L. Smith announced the agency’s financial commitment to the division, and Shehan unveiled the new division name and logo.
“The name change allows us to expand the focus of our training into the private sector,” Shehan said. “These newly defined customers will most likely identify more with a Public Safety & Security designation rather than a law enforcement element.”
“The division is an integral part of TEEX’s training and service mission and has been assisting the law enforcement community since 1942,” Smith added. “We believe there is a tremendous opportunity to modify many of our existing courses to target and attract private companies and organizations, while continuing to provide the highest quality training for the law enforcement community.”
In another name change, the TEEX Basic Peace Officer Academy has been renamed the Central Texas Police Academy. Shehan said the new name more accurately reflects the regional nature of the program, which has gained statewide recognition for its outstanding first-time passing rates on the state licensing exam. “The academy is unique, and this will identify us with the region we support,” he said.
The agency’s investment of needed resources will support additional infrastructure, as well as a facelift to the building, including repairs, new paint and carpet and new landscaping, he added. Already, the division has a new spacious reception area, which visitors enter from the north side of Building 7751 on the Riverside Campus.
“The reception area is important because it generates a positive first impression to any organization coming to us for their training needs,” Shehan said. “It needs to be inviting and professional in appearance. TEEX administration donated the furniture that now resides in our reception area. Thanks to Mr. Smith we can truly accommodate a professional appearance.”
The new infrastructure will include a “circuit training track” with exercise stations, to be constructed on the south side of the building, as well as a “mat room” for classes in defensive tactics.
The division will have 29 employees when fully staffed, Shehan said. Among the positions he is seeking to fill is a business development coordinator, who will help establish contacts among police departments in the region, sheriffs' offices in the surrounding counties, and target new markets for PS&S programs within the private sector.
Despite the expanded mission, Shehan emphasized that TEEX will not jeopardize the core programs that serve the law enforcement community. One of his goals is to reach out to customers and take TEEX training on the road. “Many of the municipalities we serve can’t afford the travel costs to send employees to us, so we need to find ways to take the training to them,” Shehan said.
Shehan said he received encouragement from other divisions regarding possible partnerships and is anxious to get started on the job ahead. Some of these partnerships have already been initiated. Currently PS&S is working with ESTI to support a HazMat training course for USAF security officers, and with OSHA for safety training at Fort Rucker, Ala.
The division currently has grants from the Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center. Shehan plans to pursue additional federal grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other agencies.
“Too often we get busy dealing with daily tasks and forget our responsibility to prepare for tomorrow,” he said. “By modifying our courses to fit additional training requirements and performing key word searches for supporting grant proposals to extend those services, we can continue to answer specific needs within the law enforcement community as well as the private sector.
“I truly appreciate the director’s support and his demonstration of confidence in our division. His actions demonstrate that our programs are important to the state of Texas and will benefit law enforcement and security agencies statewide,” Shehan said.
“The success of our division is in our hands. Mr. Smith has given us the tools to succeed.”
“Do it with class!” is Shehan’s motto. “We just need to remember to treat each other and our customers with class,” he said, “and our success will be guaranteed.”