Operation Lone Star sending funds to West Texas counties to police the border

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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ALPINE, Texas (KOSA) - Several Texas border counties are receiving an influx of funds to help police the border, including four here in West Texas.

It’s all part of Operation Lone Star, a state-wide effort to clamp down on border crime.

CBS7′s Joshua Skinner spoke with one border county sheriff about the $935,000 his county is receiving and what it will, and won’t help with.

“We need a much larger jail.”

That was Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson’s reaction to receiving the grant. But that money won’t go towards expanding the jail.

“Mainly it’s manpower and vehicles, some radio operations equipment. Of course, every vehicle has to be equipped with a radio, a camera, and all the stuff like that. So, that costs quite a bit.”

Don’t get him wrong, Sheriff Dodson says the money is appreciated as it will help with hiring new people and buying and maintaining vehicles.

The state is making it easier to charge people with border-related crimes, meaning it’s also easier for jails to fill up.

“Once we get the manpower, where are we going to put them?”

The Brewster County Jail holds 54 people, and it’s at max capacity. Sheriff Dodson estimates it needs to be twice that size.

“Our particular situation is we’re where the federal magistrate is at. So, the feds like to bring all their prisoners to us, so they can be magistrate and the marshals can take them in the next couple of days. So, yes, we need more holding facilities for us.”

So while Operation Lone Star is helping, it might not be going nearly far enough. Sheriff Dodson hopes to speak with Governor Greg Abbott about how to solve the problem of overcrowded jails.

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