DPS no longer rotating troopers to the border

DPS graduates 48 new Highway Patrol Troopers on Aug. 4, 2017. (KXAN Photo)
DPS graduates 48 new Highway Patrol Troopers on Aug. 4, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Sending troopers from other parts of Texas to cover the border region has made the rest of the state less safe, according to the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety as he spoke to lawmakers earlier this year. From 2008-2016, DPS received $1.6 billion for its border operations. During this year’s legislative session, the agency was given another $800 million that would help pay for another 250 troopers.

However, since the start of this month, the state agency says it has stopped rotating troopers to cover the border region. “The 250 new border troopers have completed their field training, and rotations outside of Region 3 will end as of September 1 unless a catastrophic event or substantial emerging threat requires DPS to respond,” said DPS in a statement. The new trooper class will graduate in December.

A KXAN Investigation last fall revealed DPS troopers assigned to the border region were making very few drug and human smuggling arrests.

During KXAN’s visit to the border, the ACLU of Texas complained of the impact of such a large number of troopers.

“They’re saying they’re here to secure the border and stop [the] illegal flow of drugs. Have they done that? I want to see the metrics. I want to see the effectiveness of the operations they are currently having at the border,” said Astrid Dominguez of the ACLU of Texas.

 

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