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Tarleton receives $900,000 in federal funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2008

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS—Rep. John Carter (TX-31), a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, presented Tarleton State University President Dennis P. McCabe with a check for $900,000 in a press conference on Feb. 29.

The majority of the funds, $705,000, will go toward Tarleton’s Rural Law Enforcement (RLE) project. RLE is designed to provide rural agencies with access to a database in which affiliated agencies can share information.

“Rural agencies tend to take a backseat to metropolitan agencies in terms of funding,” said Captain Jim Cooley, who is the information technology director and heading up Tarleton’s RLE project. “Metropolitan agencies can pool their resources and share information. Rural agencies don’t have the money and funds to do that.”

Agencies choosing to participate in the project are provided with access to the Law Enforcement Analysis Portal (LEAP), which is an information sharing and crime analysis software system. LEAP was developed in collaboration between the North Texas Council of Governments and private partners. There is no cost to participating agencies for any services provided through the Tarleton program.

LEAP enables officers to view information contributed by all participating agencies. This includes persons of interest, criminals, places, vehicles and events. Officers can access the database anywhere with an Internet connection.

“The 30 counties benefiting from RLE are in the Tarleton State University service area,” Cooley said. “This area covers approximately 20,000 square miles.”

Counties within the Tarleton service area that are participating in RLE include: Bosque, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Concho, Coryell, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Jones, Lampasas, Limestone, Llano, Mason, McCulloch, Mills, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Runnels, San Saba, Shackelford, Somervell and Stephens.

The coverage area will extend from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, south to Austin and San Antonio, and west to Abilene.

In addition to the previously mentioned counties, RLE has entered into an agreement with the North Central Texas Council of Governments in Arlington (NCTCOG).

“By partnering with NCTCOG, we will be able to share information with 16 more counties in the North Central Texas area,” Cooley said.

The remainder of the funds, $195,000, will benefit Tarleton’s Rural Nursing Education Program. These funds will be used to purchase simulation equipment for Tarleton’s nursing skills lab and to purchase equipment to improve communication with and support for off-campus students.

“Some of the funds will be used for high-fidelity mannequins, which can be programmed to breathe, talk, have a pulse and other things,” said Dr. Elaine Evans, department head and associate professor of nursing. “Today’s patients are going home faster. This equipment will enable our students to be better prepared and be able to use those skills gained to their best advantage.”

Tarleton’s nursing department had more students enrolled than any other major in the fall of 2006.

Due to its consistently high enrollment numbers and need for larger and more-advanced facilities, Tarleton plans to break ground on a new nursing facility later this fall. The planned 55,000-square-foot facility will include classrooms, multimedia rooms and project rooms as well as a state-of-the-art simulation learning center.

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