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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    TX: Sheriffs on border can't obtain grant as a group

    Sheriffs on border can't obtain grant as a group
    By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau
    El Paso Times
    Sep 12, 2007

    AUSTIN -- Gov. Rick Perry put the kibosh on border sheriffs' plans to apply as one group for state border security dollars, casting doubt on the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition's future, its executive director said Tuesday.
    Tuesday, Perry also announced the first 11-member Border Security Council, which legislators this year created to advise the governor about distributing border dollars.

    Donald Reay, sheriffs coalition executive director, said the news from Perry's office shocked sheriffs, who had long been planning to apply together, hoping for a bigger portion of the border security money. He said that the sheriffs still believe that each will receive some money, but that if the coalition itself isn't funded, it could cease to exist.

    "We're OK with it," Reay said. "We just work through all these things."

    Legislators set aside about $110 million for border security initiatives over the next two years. A little more than half that, about $57 million, will go to local sheriffs and police departments statewide that apply for grants to participate in border security operations.

    Since 2005, the border coalition has been managing about $10 million a year in state and federal grant money that go to border sheriffs for security efforts such as Operation Linebacker.

    Perry spokesman Robert Black said requiring each of the counties to apply individually for border security dollars would ensure accountability.

    "It makes the funds easier to keep track of where they're going and how they're being used," Black said.

    The Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, a nonprofit that represents sheriffs in 18 border counties, will also have to apply for money from the state, Reay said.

    Since last year, Reay said, the coalition spent about $170,000 for operations, including office rent, salaries, travel expenses and office equipment.

    Reay said he plans to ask for another $280,000 in grant money for 2008, including a raise for himself, his administrative assistant and the budget officer. It costs about $20,000 a month to run the coalition, he said. "We're really a pretty bare-bones operation."

    Without more money by late October, he said, the coalition could close up shop. Asked who then would administer existing border security grants, he said, "That's a real good question, and I don't have an answer."

    Black said Perry supports the sheriffs coalition and encouraged sheriffs to apply for border security grant money. "The governor's commitment to border sheriffs hasn't wavered in the last three years and will not waver going forward," Black said.

    Perry appointed 11 people to advise him about awarding the border security grants. The newly created Border Security Council will also establish accountability measures for the use of that money.

    Legislators created the council this year. They did not specify how many members it should have, but did require one-third of them to be border residents.

    Five of the 11 members Perry appointed are from the border, including El Paso's Scott McLaughlin, president of Stagecoach Cartage and Distribution, and Hudspeth County Judge Rebecca Dean Walker.

    The El Paso County Sheriff's Office had planned to request grant funding with the coalition and independently.

    Sheriff's Office spokesman Rick Glancey said the office would apply under the new rules for about $500,000 to continue border security operations. "The sheriff will do whatever it takes to make it work."

    Glancey, who helped initiate the sheriffs' coalition and was executive director for about a year, said its continued work is vital, especially for rural border sheriffs.

    The organization, he said, is an advocate for sheriffs who need funding and as a conduit for communication among them.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Texas - Occupied State - The Front Line


    Beep!!!!!!!! I don't trust Perry!

    I do think $20,000 a month might be a little too much money.

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