The federal government provided $15 million in federal Operation Stonegarden Grant Program (OPSG) funding to our state. The funding is meant to increase the operational capabilities of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies along the border. It was approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of their Operations Orders.
This federal funding coincides with the Texas Legislature’s recently appropriated $800.6 million to fund border security purposes at nine state agencies in the 2020-2021 state budget. The majority of the state funding, $693.3 million, is provided to the Department of Public Safety (DPS). This comes as the Governor deployed 1,000 Texas National Guard troops in June to assist DHS and Customs and Border Patrol with the escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
The state legislative funding for border security maintains support for DPS personnel including Texas Rangers, new troopers, and associated support staff, as well as other border security related initiatives. State funds include $53.5 million to the Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor for grants to local entities, as well as other support to the Parks and Wildlife Department for enhanced game warden activity, funding for investigations, prosecutions, and various border security-related activities.
The federal funding will support the state's efforts. According to Gov. Abbott, DHS/FEMA allocated more than $30 million in OPSG funding to the State of Texas last year, an increase of more than $10 million from the prior year. Gov. Abbott said of the federal funding,
I am grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the additional funding the agency is providing to help carry out this mission. These grants will provide much-needed support for the men and women of law enforcement who are working to combat the crisis at our southern border.
Local jurisdictions receiving funding through these latest OPSG awards include 50 law enforcement agencies located in the following 18 counties: Bee, Calhoun, Cameron, Dimmit, Duval, El Paso, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Kleberg, Nueces, Presidio, Refugio, Val Verde, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata.
Counties along the southern border interested in learning more about this program should contact one of the five United States Border Patrol Sectors consisting of Big Bend, Del Rio, El Paso, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley, or the Governor’s Public Safety Office at 512-463-1919.