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Texas Governor Perry Provides Additional $3.8 Million for Border Security Operation

"The sheriffs are the front lines of the fight against border crime"

Texas Governor Rick Perry has released the $3.8 million pledged in February to the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition. The money will provide continuing support for Operation Linebacker, the coalition's effort to increase manpower and equipment to reduce border crime and violence. Since December 2005, Perry has provided nearly $10 million to support the operation.

"The sheriffs are the front lines of the fight against border crime, and I am pleased the state can support their continued fight against criminals and terrorists who wish to exploit our border," Perry said. "It has long been demonstrated that our strategy to increase manpower and patrols decreases the ability of criminal groups to operate in the region. Operation Linebacker is working and making our communities safer."

Operation Linebacker is a key element of Operation Rio Grande, the comprehensive border security strategy Perry launched in February 2006 that gives the state a leading role in coordinating intelligence and law enforcement assets within 100 miles of the border to decrease all crime in the area. The funds announced today will help the sheriffs hire new personnel, pay overtime for existing officers, purchase surveillance equipment or specialized vehicles for use in rugged terrain, and cover some operational costs such as fuel and vehicle maintenance.

"While it is the responsibility of the federal government to enforce our immigration laws, it is the duty of state and local law enforcement to address criminal activity that occurs on Texas soil," Perry said. "With the clear threat, we must continue to take decisive action to protect the border and the American homeland, and deter the activities of criminal groups and terrorists."

Earlier this week it was announced that Operation Laredo, a multi-agency border security operation part of Operation Rio Grande, has reduced Texas border crime by 65 percent. Read the article.