Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the importance of maintaining a secure border and continued coordination between all levels of law enforcement in order to keep both Texas and the nation safe. The governor spoke at the Major Cities Chiefs Association Conference.
"Our law enforcement officials work hard and put their lives on the line every day to ensure the safety of our citizens," Gov. Perry said. "We must continue to ensure that they have the resources, training and programs in place to secure our communities, and ultimately our state and nation."
The governor cited the creation of highly-skilled Ranger Recon Teams in August to address the increased burglaries of rural homes, ranches and hunting camps in remote areas along the Texas-Mexico border. The teams are comprised of Texas Rangers and Texas National Guard Counterdrug forces, and supported by the Operation Border Star Unified Command, including Texas sheriffs, Highway Patrol strike teams and Department of Public Safety aviation resources.
Gov. Perry also emphasized coordination between law enforcement agencies, crediting the nationwide network law enforcement fusion centers, which gather data and identify trends that could indicate criminal or terrorist activity, with helping to plug the gaps in intelligence networks and share data more effectively between agencies. The governor also noted the collaboration between the City of Austin Police Department, regional law enforcement partners and the Texas Department of Public Safety to create the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, which will serve as a model of state and local cooperation in the interest of enhancing public safety at the local, state and national level.
Securing our state and protecting Texans from the threat of transnational gangs is a priority for the governor. A porous border places Texas and the nation at risk from international terrorists, organized crime cartels and transnational gangs. Until the federal government fulfills its responsibility of securing our border, Texas will continue filling in the gaps by putting more boots on the ground, providing increased law enforcement resources and leveraging technology along the border. Last session, the Legislature allocated $113 million to continue the state's border security operations, including funding to combat transnational gangs.