AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized accomplishments made during the 81st Legislative session that provide resources and assist law enforcement officials in protecting Texans. The governor spoke at the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) annual convention.
“In today’s threat environment, Texas police officers are not just first responders but first preventers,” Gov. Perry said. “We are honored and blessed to have such a remarkable group of dedicated law enforcement professionals patrolling our streets, constantly training and putting public safety ahead of their own interests.”
The governor touted HB 2068, an omnibus gang bill that provides state and local law enforcement agencies with additional tools to combat the threat of transnational gangs. These resources include electronic monitoring of criminal gang members who have two or more convictions; penalties for engaging in organized crime activity in gang free zones; and enhanced surveillance capabilities, among others.
Gov. Perry also noted the importance of SB 926, which exempts police officers operating emergency vehicles from fines incurred through red light camera citations. Additionally, the governor highlighted the significance of HB 872, which allows family members of officers killed in the line of duty to purchase health insurance from the officer’s employer.
Securing our state and protecting Texans from the threat of transnational gangs is a priority for the governor. In October, Gov. Perry allocated $4 million in grants through the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD) to law enforcement agencies in 13 cities across the state to assist officers who patrol hot spots of gang activity. This session, the Legislature allocated $113 million to continue the state’s border security operations, including funding to combat transnational gangs.
“As we hammer gangs across the state, we are also keeping the pressure up along the border,” Gov. Perry said. “I am pleased that the legislature renewed funding for our ongoing border security efforts, making it possible to keep up our concentration of law enforcement personnel and equipment in the regions where they are most needed.”
TMPA was formed in 1950 to promote professionalism in Texas law enforcement, improve job conditions, and enhance communication among Texas peace officers.
For more information about the 81st Legislative Session, please visit http://www.governor.state.tx.us or http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx