Gov. Perry Awards $6 Million to Border Counties for Border Security
Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition to Implement Regional Security Initiative with Funds
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced the award of $6 million in grants to strengthen security along the Texas-Mexico border. The funds will support Operation Linebacker, an initiative developed by the 16-member Texas Border Sheriff’s Association to deter illegal immigration and prevent border-related crime. The grants will provide manpower, specialized equipment and planning resources to border-area law enforcement. Counties to receive the funds are Brewster, Cameron, Culberson, Dimmit, El Paso, Hidalgo, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Maverick, Presidio, Starr, Terrell, Val Verde, Webb, and Zapata. Each county will receive $367,500 once each county’s Commissioners Court approves a grant contract. “There can be no homeland security without border security,” Perry said. “Operation Linebacker makes sense because it gives new tools and resources to local law enforcement, the experts in the unique security challenges of the border.” The Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, which will receive $120,000 in grant funds, will coordinate the effort and develop specialized security plans for the unique needs of each county. The funds will also support Citizen Police Academies to train local volunteers and strengthen community awareness and involvement in border protection. “My border security plan will lead to a safer Texas—and a safer America—because it not only focuses on what happens at the ports of entry, but what happens between them, too,” Perry added. In October Perry released a comprehensive, six-point border security plan that featured Operation Linebacker and also called for expedited efforts to achieve radio communications interoperability in the region, improved information technology, bilateral emergency response exercises, and legislative measures to enhance border security. The Linebacker funds will be distributed in the coming weeks through the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program, which is administered by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD). Each year, CJD provides more than $130 million in grants to help reduce crime. CJD funds a variety of juvenile justice, criminal justice, and victim services programs – all aimed at making Texas a safer place.
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