A group of police officers from Toluca, Mexico is getting hands-on training with Fort Worth police this week.
The Mexican officers will be in North Texas all week learning American police strategies. The influx of undocumented Central American children is a growing problem for both countries.
Toluca is Fort Worth's sister city, they have roughly the same population and police department size. The week-long training will focus on how to handle kidnapping, robbery, auto theft and even human trafficking investigations.
"These officers and commanders, they’re dealing with the same criminals that eventually we’ll deal with up here," said retired Fort Worth detective Manny Reyes, who serves on the Sister Cities board. "So this is training for both departments. It’s an interchange. They’re going to show us, we’re going to show them."
Trafficking is a big concern for both police forces, Reyes said, as both Mexico and now Texas are seeing tens of thousands of immigrant children arrive from Central America without any family.
"The children have to go through that town, that area," Reyes said. "They deal with it before we get them later. We'll see how prevailing it is for them, and what steps they do [to stop it]."
There will be videos, guest lectures, and hands-on demonstrations during the week. The Toluca officers are staying in the homes of bilingual Fort Worth police officers during the training.
"One of the topics we'll talk about a lot is human smuggling," said FWPD officer Daniel Segura, a bilingual liaison to Fort Worth's Latino population. "We'll hear from the [Toluca] chief on his views on the children coming to the states in the past few months."
The Mexican officers will also tour at the Fort Worth Police Department's crime lab and property room so they can learn their regulations for handling evidence.
"We have binders to review a lot of protocol, a lot of in-house rules," Segura said. "They would like to pretty much copy our system within their police department."