HE MIGHT look like a friendly cowboy but Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell is on the Sunshine Coast on serious business.
The US law enforcement official was in Maroochydore yesterday teaching local police highly-successful child-protection techniques developed in Texas.
Human trafficking and sexual servitude are not big issues on the Sunshine Coast now but the training is putting officers on the front foot.
"The fact of the matter is it's possible for this crime to be committed anywhere in the world with no limitations really," Sergeant Mitchell said.
"I think it's a very good proactive approach y'all take to try to protect the community by being prepared in case you have to deal with something."
Sgt Mitchell said learning to look for potential crimes rather than reacting to them once they had been uncovered was the key to the training.
"Basically you're doing your regular job, but as you do our regular job pay attention you stumble upon something that needs to be taken care of, and we were very good at it in Texas," he said.
"I use an example of a DUI driver. You see a car weaving, and there's a lot of cars out there, but that one's doing something that makes you think that you need to see if there's somebody sleepy, somebody drinking, somebody texting. You never know what it's going to be.
"So what we did is put together a group of concepts (relating to child protection) ... that we can evaluate to determine whether or not any type of investigation needs to take place, or if any questions need to be answered before we feel confident that we're not putting somebody at risk by allowing them to continue."
Sunshine Coast District Child Protection and Investigative Unit Detective Senior Sergeant Dan Purdie said learning what to look out for would help local police prevent crimes like human trafficking and sexual servitude taking hold.
"We can use it on a daily basis when we're looking for child after an abduction alert or helping out with something," he said.
"Having someone from the Texas Rangers come and talk to us about a crime that they investigate that we haven't seen yet just puts us on the front foot to respond and stop that from becoming an issue."
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