2021 Rural Crime Prevention Task Force School kicks off in Tulare County

Since 2012, over 340 students have taken part in the five-day, hands-on training.
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- It was day one for a group of law enforcement professionals to develop new skills at the 2021 Rural Crime Prevention Task Force School.

It is hosted by the Tulare County District Attorney's Office.

"Meeting here, which is really the epicenter and the opportunity that we can provide is just bringing resources from all over the state and training all the number of areas where rural crime can really intersect at," said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward.

Since 2012, over 340 students have taken part in the five-day, hands-on training.

"We are going out. We got dairy's, brand training with local horses and even some sheep, so it's an exciting week," said Ward.

The instruction includes learning about wire theft, animal fighting, cargo theft, equipment protection, and more.

These 50 officers get to take this knowledge back to their local agencies, allowing departments to tag team when solving agricultural crimes.

"And having these task forces together within the state of California really helps with being able to battle the specific crimes that occur within those communities," said ag crime investigator Nicole Mitchell.

It's also a unique opportunity being the only one in the state.

With Tulare County ranked top 3 of all farm counties in America, the DA's office believes sharing these skills is vital to lower rural crime.

"It's our hope that they walk away from Tulare County with a little appreciation for what the ag industry means to us here and take back some of those skills to whatever county they came from," said Ward.

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