“This is the third grant that Sheriff Carlos Carrizales Jr.’s office has been awarded through the LBSP program for a total of more than $500,000,” Lt. Ronnie Jones said.
The program, formerly called Operation Border Star, is funded by the state in an effort to put more “boots on the street” to combat the trafficking of illegal drugs, weapons and human trafficking in Texas, Carrizales said.
The sheriff has used the grant funds to pay overtime for deputies who work extra hours in an effort to intercept illegal traffic from south of the border.
The additional deputies on the street have resulted in the apprehension of more than 2,900 undocumented persons as well as dramatic increase in seizures such as drugs and vehicles.
Carrizales said more than 300 vehicles have been seized and sold at auction in the last three years. Those sales have brought more than $500,000 into the county’s forfeiture fund.
The money in that fund has allowed Carrizales’ office to purchase 28 fully-equipped patrol vehicles with state-of-the-art technology, provide deputies with 22 bulletproof vests, add a mobile command center to the BCSO fleet and put an emergency response utility vehicle into service, all without costing Bee County taxpayers a penny.
“Despite the hard economic times we are facing, I have a responsibility to ensure public safety in Bee County,” Carrizales said. “I have and will continue to aggressively pursue all funding sources available to my office in order to achieve this goal.”
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.