In the city of Pharr, South Texas College will open a new facility for students wanting to pursue a career in the law enforcement field.

“Keeping the community safe must be our top priority. If we’re gonna have safety security to be able to educate our kids’ safety and security to have the economy that we have.”

This center will be the first community college in the nation to establish integrative training along the U.S.-Mexico border.

RGV Border Patrol Chief Manuel Padilla says this campus will be a great place for students wanting to be public safety officials.

“South Texas College will be preparing young people that are interested in the field of law enforcement and they will have law enforcement training right next to the students that are seeking a career in law enforcement.”

According to campus president Shirley Reed, they’ve been working on this project for 10 years.

“We want to be able to provide training for the local police officers, state, federal, homeland security. Not only law enforcement officers, public safety officers and fire science professionals.”

The facility will be around 20,000 square feet. It will include a training platform for shooting and driving simulations as well as other security tactics.

The project was approved by voters in 2013 and was given a bonus of 159 million dollars, as a contribution between the Texas Department of Public Safety, the city of Pharr and PSJA ISD.

Rose Benavides vice-chair of the STC border of trustees, says the DPS among other agencies have been collaborating with this new construction.

“The state government and we are currently working the federal government to ensure that we can grow this project but for us, this is another opportunity to show that we have an opportunity here to bring hopes and dreams to students that are looking for these careers and they can train right in their backyard.”

The president of the institution adds this center will have a major impact in the Rio Grande Valley.