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Mar 02.15

Representative Greg Bonnen Joins Lawmakers to Pass Stronger Border, Safer Texas Act

Representative Greg Bonnen Joins Lawmakers to Pass Stronger Border, Safer Texas Act

Legislation Strengthens Border Security, Toughens Penalties for Smugglers, and Gives DPS New Tools to Crack Down on Crime Syndicates Statewide

Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood) and a bipartisan group of Texas House members today called for passage of House Bill 11, the Stronger Border, Safer Texas Act.  The bill is designed to strengthen border security and help law enforcement stop border-related crime wherever it occurs in the state.

“The federal government has failed to fulfill its responsibility to secure the border,” said Bonnen. “The Stronger Border, Safer Texas Act will permanently bolster the Department of Public Safety's presence on the border, disrupt cartel supply lines, and establish a special border investigations team that will aide law enforcement in shutting down international crime syndicates that operate throughout the trans-national region.”

Key provisions of House Bill 11, co-authored by Dr. Bonnen, include:

  • Hiring of certified police officers at the DPS Trooper II level and authorizing 10 hour work days for DPS Troopers serving in the border region, ending the current practice of periodically shifting officers from other parts of the state.
  • Creating a DPS Officer Reserve Corps of retired officers who will assist police statewide with background investigations, sex offender compliance checks and other duties.
  • Imposing tougher penalties for smugglers, and classifying human smuggling as organized crime.
  • Cutting the cartels’ supply lines with new southbound checkpoints within 250 yards of the border to curb the flow of stolen vehicles, guns and money from being smuggled into Mexico.
  • Establishing a multiagency border crime information center in the Rio Grande Valley led by local law enforcement with assistance from DPS.
  • Requiring law enforcement entities to adopt the National Incident Based Reporting System to ensure the transparency and uniformity of crime data throughout the state.

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