Governor Abbott Helps Texas Police
The archetype of empowered police officers has often been associated with the state of Texas and with assistance from their Governor Greg Abbot the goal is that it will become ever closer to reality.
Abbott has seen an influx of issues at the southern border of Texas. Yet, Biden and his administration hesitate to declare the situation a crisis. That hasn’t stopped Abbott, who shifted his terminology to “disaster” in early June. A verbiage shift may seem like it would have little effect but, officially declaring a situation a disaster gives the state more leverage to instill change.
The governor instructed the Department of Public Safety to crack down on and enforce all federal and state criminal laws, putting heavy emphasis on smuggling, human trafficking, and criminal trespassing. As of now, Texas police can use all available resources to protect Texans from “criminal activity and property damage.” He also instructed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to work toward revoking state licensure from child care facilities that are housing unlawful immigrants at the federal government’s request.
Under these new instructions, the Department of Public Safety has reportedly made over 1300 criminal arrests, caught more than 35,000 illegal immigrants, and intercepted more than five tons of drugs, as well as over 100 guns – just in the last three months.
Abbott kicked off June with new pro-police legislation, in response to the numerous cities nationwide that have cut funding to their police departments. Abbott signed a bill that would penalize cities enacting police budget cuts by withholding their tax revenues. Abbot feels that “the men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to keep Texans safe, and they deserve our unending support and gratitude…With these laws, we are bolstering our support for law enforcement while ensuring a safer future for all Texans.”
For a city to be penalized, their population must be a quarter million people or more, and they must attempt to defund their police department. Should they go through with budget cuts, their tax revenue will be withheld and redistributed to the Texas Department of Public Safety to cover costs for “state resources used to protect residents” that the underfunded police department was not able to do. The city of Austin reduced their budget by one-third last fall, and still have not recovered from the damages caused by the increased crime rate.
In larger municipal counties with over 1 million people, any budget cut proposal must be put to a vote. If the vote does not pass, but the county moves forward with defunding anyway, tax dollars will similarly be withheld from the county. New penalties were also added for individuals within Abbot’s new bill. Individuals can expect felony charges for knowingly blocking emergency vehicles or access to hospitals or other health care facilities. The criminal charges have also been increased for individuals who use lasers, fireworks, or any other items in an attempt to harm or interrupt officers from doing their jobs.
Governor Abbot supports the thin blue line of the police force and “Texas won’t tolerate” any attempt to disrespect, defund, or marginalize those who work tirelessly to keep us safe