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Texas DPS Center To Help Child Crime Victims

The shadows of children playing are cast on a brick wall. (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The shadows of children playing are cast on a brick wall. (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN (AP) - The youngest crime victims in Texas have another law enforcement unit ready to help.

The Department of Public Safety has announced creation of the Texas Crimes Against Children Center within the Texas Rangers division.

DPS on Tuesday said the center will help protect children through the collection and dissemination of intelligence, investigative support and cooperation with victim-assistance counselors.

Center staff will also help coordinate investigations related to missing and exploited children, trafficking, child abductions and other high-risk threats to young people.

DPS already teaches law officers about indicators to identify and recover missing or exploited children during standard traffic stops. The agency, with help from that program, has initiated more than 30 criminal investigations and recovered 112 missing or endangered children since 2010.

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