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Covers new patrol vehicles, equipment, officers’ overtime in border security
The Dilley Police Department has been awarded over $380,000 through the Operation Lone Star Grant to purchase law enforcement equipment, including a pair of new fleet vehicles.
Other purchases by the department, Chief Homer Delgado said last week, will include law enforcement equipment and technology upgrades. The funds also help cover overtime pay for officers involved in additional duties related to border security, he said.
Operation Lone Star is a border security initiative launched by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in March 2021 in response to rising illegal border crossings, In May last year, Gov. Abbott issued a disaster declaration that now covers 53 counties and includes Frio. The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 9 in September 2021, authorizing the state to dedicate almost $2 billion to border security over the next two years.
Chief Delgado points to the program’s efforts at enhancing inter-agency cooperation in border security operations as critical to its effectiveness.
“This includes the facilitation of directed actions to deter and interdict criminal activity,” the chief said.
The Dilley Police Department has been active in the interception of human smuggling efforts and in reinforcing law enforcement presence in South Texas, notably on IH-35. While the municipal department continues arresting drivers suspected of smuggling undocumented immigrants as well as narcotics, officers are also dispatched to the edge of the community on a regular basis to prevent fugitives from driving through town on residential streets while being pursued by county, state or federal agents.
The police chief said his officers’ actions in blocking access to the community by those attempting to evade capture have helped improve public safety.
Agencies taking part in Operation Lone Star assist in the execution of coordinated border security operations in an effort to increase the program’s effectiveness and reduce border-related criminal activity in Texas, the chief said. Participants also help increase the effectiveness of operational methods, measures, and techniques for outbound or southbound operations.
“The goal is to decrease the supply of drugs smuggled into and through Texas from Mexico, disrupt and deter operations of gang and cartel criminal organizations, and decrease specifically targeted tactics (such as conveyance methods) for drugs in the Texas border region,” Chief Delgado noted in a prepared statement. “This also involves working to decrease use of specific areas for crime as targeted in directed action missions, increase the effectiveness of missions based on intelligence and analysis to ensure that law enforcement targets the most serious threats.”
Among the most visible effects of Operation Lone Star is the increased coordination between local and state law enforcement agencies in planning, execution, and
analysis of border security operations, the chief said, and the Dilley PD has therefore worked closely with other agencies in the interception of criminal activity in the border region, specifically in and around its own community.
“Dilley officers will assist the Texas Department of Public Safety, the US Border Patrol and neighboring agencies throughout the area while participating in Operation Lone Star,” Chief Delgado said. “It will not be uncommon to see Dilley police vehicles outside the city limits of Dilley.”