KVUE News - Some Border Countries See Dramatic Drop in Crime
By LEE MCGUIRE
Between June, 2005 and June, 2006, Val Verde County experienced a 76 percent drop in major crime. It's an unusual statistic, and the sheriff credits only one thing: a major crackdown on border incursions by Texas public safety officers.
Operation "Linebacker" has been underway for several months, but in June, the state swarmed about a fifth of the 1,200-mile border with an extra thousand patrol officers, pulled from the Department of Public Safety, Parks and Wildlife and Texas Task Force One.
Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw says that operation discouraged drug dealers and other criminals from attempting their traditional border crossings.
At a briefing for border sheriffs Tuesday in Del Rio, Governor Rick Perry said the drop in crime is proof that a strategic deployment along the Mexican border can have a direct impact on public safety.
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"It's proof positive that when we put the resources and the coordination in place, we are making a powerful impact on crime," he said. "The international drug cartels and the human smuggling rings that are out there, they're not going to know when nor where these operations are going to occur."
Perry says he plans to ask the Legislature for another $100 million to fund an extension of Operation Linebacker during the next Legislative session, as well as put additional pressure on Washington to increase funding to border security efforts.
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