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Federal funding helps Tarleton 'take a bite out of crime'

Tarleton State University-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 11, 2010

STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS-Tarleton State University may not have McGruff the Crime Dog to help rural law enforcement agencies fight crime in Texas, but the university does have another program aimed at decreasing criminal activity.

Tarleton's Rural Law Enforcement (RLE) project recently received a huge boost in the form of $1.5 million in federal funds allocated to the program. A major ally in securing the funding for the program was Congressman John Carter (TX-31), who visited Tarleton's campus on Aug. 11.

"Congressman John Carter is responsible for securing the funding for the rural law enforcement program," said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. "Without his assistance, we would not be able to expand the program to 45 additional counties. We appreciate Congressman Carter's support of this important program and his continued support of Tarleton."

RLE is designed to provide rural agencies with access to a secure database that allows those affiliated with the program to share information about crimes, criminals and illegal activities.

"Winning approval of this funding for Tarleton is one of the best developments for the 31st Congressional District during this session of Congress," said Carter, a former Texas judge for more than 20 years. "From my own experience, remote rural law enforcement agencies frequently lack the technology resources that are commonplace for metropolitan agencies, and this program by Tarleton directly addresses that challenge. This is of course good for Tarleton, but it is also provides a major new resource for rural law enforcement across Texas, with a resulting increase in public safety for every citizen in our district."

Because of their more remote locations, rural law enforcement agencies don't always have the option of pooling their resources like metropolitan agencies. Also, rural law enforcement agencies don't always receive as much funding as the larger agencies.

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. 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 law enforcement agencies. This includes persons of interest, criminals, places, vehicles and events. Officers can access the secure database anywhere with an Internet connection.

According to Captain Jim Cooley, who heads up the project and serves as its information technology director, the project has already been instrumental in identifying narcotics suspects, solving crimes and decreasing gang activities.

The additional funding will enable the project to expand from a 30-county area to 75 counties. RLE will increase its coverage area from about 26,000 square miles to approximately 78,000 square miles, which is roughly 30 percent of the state.

Counties in the original service area included: 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. 

In addition to the previous counties, the newly expanded coverage area will now include the following counties: Andrews, Blanco, Borden, Coke, Crane, Crockett, Dawson, Ector, Fisher, Gaines, Garza, Gillespie, Glasscock, Haskell, Howard, Irion, Jack, Kendall, Kent, Kerr, Kimble, Loving, Lynn, Martin, Menard, Midland, Mitchell, Nolan, Pecos, Reagan, Reeves, Schleicher, Scurry, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Taylor, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Upton, Ward, Winkler, Yoakum and Young.

The coverage area will now extend from areas surrounding Interstate 35 to the New Mexico border, and from north of Interstate 20 south to Interstate 10.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System since 1917

Office of Media Relations
Chandra Andrew, Media Relations Manager
Phone: 254-968-9803, E-mail:
Address: Box T-0840, Stephenville, Texas 76402

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