The Texas Department of Public Safety temporarily deployed 230 state troopers to bolster border security, according to a front-page report published Sunday by the San Antonio Express-News.
Along with the temporary troopers, the Department of Public Safety sent 25 special agents who target smugglers and seven Texas Rangers to the border, according to data provided to the Express-News.
“The Legislature has spent hundreds of millions of dollars under governors Rick Perry and Greg Abbott to help crack down on smuggling, with most of the focus on the Rio Grande Valley,” according to the Express-News. “Since June 2014, Department of Public Safety troopers have poured into Valley towns, patrolling the region like a combat zone.”
The Department of Public Safety plans to keep rotating troopers from other parts of Texas to the border until the agency permanently assigns more law enforcement officers to Region 3 and Region 4 — sectors that cover the border from Brownsville to El Paso.
The Express-News broke down the border surge with data provided by the Department of Public Safety:
563: Troopers permanently assigned
124: New permanent trooper positions hired and deployed
230: Troopers temporarily deployed to the operation from other areas
313: Additional overtime full-time equivalents
Total: 1,230 state troopers*
Special Agents (Focused on Smuggling)
167: Agents permanently assigned
25: Agents temporarily deployed
61: Additional overtime full-time equivalents
Total: 253 special agents*
45: Rangers permanently assigned
7: Rangers temporarily deployed
17: Additional overtime full-time equivalents
Total: 69 Texas Rangers*
Valley residents told Express-News reporter Aaron Nelsen the troopers improved safety, but had mixed effects on local businesses and hurt local police departments that depend on traffic tickets.
*Totals consider the impact of overtime hours worked by Department of Public Safety law enforcement officers.