The Harris County (Houston) Sheriff's Office is working with the private security guard industry to train security guards.
Organizers said it is the first program of it's kind in Harris County. The Sheriff's Office partners include the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) and International and Associated Security Services and Investigators of the State of Texas (ASSIST).
The guards are learning crime scene preservation, threat detection, note taking, and dispute resolution.
Ruggles said the program is putting more eyes and ears on the streets. At a time when the Sheriff's Office is already short on deputies, the guards will help notice and prevent crime.
The guards will continue their regular jobs, but with this new training, they will also aid the Sheriff's Office while performing those duties.
Sixty guards took part in the first eight hour training. Organizers hope to train 300 by the end of the year.