Perry: Border Law Enforcement Actions Cut Crime Significantly
Crime Drops 40% to 70% in Texas Communities During Exercise
EL PASO - Gov. Rick Perry today praised law enforcement efforts along the border in the El Paso area, saying recent operations in a four-county region cut crime rates as much as 70 percent in some communities.
"I am proud to report that the successful efforts of state, local and federal officials who participated in this law enforcement exercise have made Texans safer and our border stronger," Perry said. "Specifically, this joint initiative reduced all types of crime by 40 to 70 percent in all participating counties. It took 3,600 pounds of marijuana and dozens of dangerous criminals off our streets, and it effectively shut down the activities of international crime syndicates across a five-county region."
The initiative, dubbed "Operation El Paso," included the sheriffs from four Texas counties - El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson and Jeff Davis - and Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It also involved police departments from El Paso, Socorro, Horizon and Ysleta del Sur, as well as the Texas National Guard, U.S. Border Patrol, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.
The operation was coordinated by the Texas Border Security Operations Center, which provided 24-hour intelligence for officers on the ground. Also participating in the exercise were the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
"The results of this operation prove a simple principle of law enforcement: When you increase patrols, you decrease crime," Perry said. "And when it comes to border security in particular, Washington would do well to put that principle into practice not only by providing more resources to the hardworking men and women of the Border Patrol but the local sheriffs and police departments that serve on the front line of America's homeland security efforts."
Operation El Paso is the third such law enforcement exercise along the Texas-Mexico border this summer. The first two, which occurred around Del Rio and Laredo, achieved similar reductions in crime during surge operations, and crimes rates continue to be lower than normal.
Perry said his office will continue to coordinate and stage similar border security operations all along the Rio Grande.
"The international drug cartels and human smuggling rings will not know when or where these operations will occur, what type of activities they will involve or how long they will last," Perry added. "But they can be certain that when it comes to border security, Texas is not waiting for Washington to act."
Perry said he will continue to provide funding for border law enforcement and reminded the public he is in the process of implementing a virtual border watch program that is putting surveillance cameras in strategic locations along the border. He also said he will ask the Texas Legislature next session for $100 million to sustain border security efforts.
"With additional joint law enforcement operations to come in the future, Texas will continue to do all we can to make our border stronger, our nation safer and our future brighter," Perry said.