By Rob Kepple
TDCAF and TDCAA Executive Director in Austin
TDCAA’s online Brady training by all accounts has been a great success. It is a cutting-edge interactive video, and the participation of Michael Morton in the project really has made this training something special. Thanks to the Foundation and support from the Court of Criminal Appeals, we can continue to offer the training for free.
There’s a great new development with this webinar. Law enforcement agencies have seen it and are taking an interest in making sure their officers take the course. We have just worked out a deal with the Austin Police Department (APD) to share the training on its online training platform. APD is going to require all of its officers to complete the course and will even get TCOLE credit for it (something that logistically we just couldn’t do). If you think your law enforcement agencies would be interested in doing the same, give me a call. APD has been a good partner in this effort, and I think they are eager to share their experience if it works well! Me, I see it as enlightened self-interest—the whole state benefits greatly if prosecutors and law enforcement are on the same page when it comes to Brady and the Michael Morton Act.
Victim Assistance Coordinator video
I am happy to announce another exciting project funded by the Foundation. You all know that Jalayne Robinson is TDCAA’s Victim Services Director, and with the support of the Foundation, she has continued to crisscross the state bringing valuable training to our victim assistance coordinators (VACs). One of the challenges, though, is to educate prosecutors, especially new ones, on just how valuable VACs are as a resource. Victim assistants are truly a critical member of the team, and prosecutors need to know how to make full use of their skills.
With that in mind, the Foundation is paying for a training video designed to educate prosecutors on the VAC’s role and how VACs can contribute to successful outcomes in court and for crime victims. It will be a great training tool that we will post on the TDCAA website, use at seminars and events, and that YOU can use any time you wish. Thanks to Jalayne and to Diane Beckham, TDCAA Senior Staff Counsel, for spearheading this project!