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Report: Texas Border Surge Leaves State Less Safe

By    |   Friday, 27 Mar 2015 05:33 PM

Sending the Texas National Guard and other Texas law enforcement officers to help patrol the U.S.-Mexico border may be leaving the rest of the Lone Star State less safe, a report says.

There has been a significant drop in the number of tickets written as well as a drop in arrests and investigations in situations unrelated to border issues, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Both state legislators and the Texas Department of Public Safety revealed the side effects of beefing up the border as the DPS asks for more funding to increase its ranks.

According to the newspaper, when comparing current police data with the months leading up to the border surge, when former Texas Gov. Rick Perry deployed 1,000 National Guard troops to help patrol the border, there has been a significant impact.

Such changes include a 14 percent drop in tickets written by the Texas Highway Patrol, a 12 percent drop in arrests in the DPS' criminal investigations division, a 13 percent drop in new investigations, and a 13 percent drop in arrests by the Texas Rangers.

"We've felt the impact when our troops cycle out," said Parker County Judge Mark Riley. "Enforcement is obviously going to be down."

The Dallas Morning News, however, says that at this point it's inconclusive how much safety has been compromised.

There is inconclusive data on the number of car crashes that have occurred, for example, and larger metropolitan areas such as Dallas and Houston have larger police forces in general and may not have been as affected as smaller towns.

According to DPS spokesman Tom Vinger, the department was aware of the compromises it was making to beef up the border, and it has worked to minimize the side effects by keeping deployments in rotation, minimizing border shifts to about a week on average, and allowing officers the opportunity to work overtime.

"DPS has also acknowledged from the beginning of this state-directed operation that deployments … would come from personnel across the state and that we would work to minimize the impact to other areas or services,' Vinger told the newspaper.

Texas state Sen. Dennis Bonnen, author of a security bill being proposed in the state legislature, said that "the truth is the rest of Texas is just a tad bit less safe."

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Sending the Texas National Guard and other Texas law enforcement officers to help patrol the U.S.-Mexico border may be leaving the rest of the Lone Star State less safe, a report says.
Texas, border, less, safe
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2015-33-27
Friday, 27 Mar 2015 05:33 PM
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