Texas Governor Greg Abbott addressed a graduating class of 102 new Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers Friday morning, calling them the “frontline of defense for our state and for our nation.”
The Texas governor told the new troopers they will be the first part of what will become the “new permanent border shield.” He explained, “You will stand against threats known from the drug cartels, transnational gangs, human smuggling and trafficking operations, and threats unknown from those who seek to wage war against our freedoms and our liberty.”
The class is graduating from a full 23-week class, DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said in an email to Breitbart Texas. There were 102 total graduates and 43 of those will be deploying directly to the border.
“The troopers will leave here today with the opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of public service for the citizens of our state, and an opportunity to leave marks that will make a difference for generations to come,” Abbott said during his speech.
These troopers will be part of a new permanent force of 250 new law enforcement officers working to defend the Texas border from invasion by those who are smuggling drugs and people, and those who are coming here from other countries to do harm to America. The 84th Texas legislature authorized more than $800 million in border security measures that include increasing the number of Texas DPS troopers. That bill (HB11, authored by Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Friendswood)) was signed into law by Abbott in June, Breitbart Texas reported.
- Other issues included in the border security law include measures that: Reinforces the crucial role of the National Guard in securing the border
- Immediately allows DPS to implement southbound checkpoints
- Provides funding for a statewide ten-hour workday for the DPS
- Reorganizes the Transnational and Organized Crime Division of the Office of the Attorney General to assist with border prosecutions with an enhanced focus on human trafficking and other trans-national crimes
- Creates a multi-agency training facility in the Rio Grande Valley which will serve local, state and federal law enforcement authorities.
“As Governor of this great state, it is a high privilege for me to participate in a conclusion that is really a beginning,” Abbott told the troopers. “It’s the conclusion of twenty-three weeks of training and I congratulate you on surviving what I’m sure were more than a few exciting classroom lectures on driver’s license laws and the Texas Penal Code.”
Abbott said the class of 102 cadets included of 35 veterans who served in our U.S. military forces. It also included a former agent from the U.S. Secret Service. Their ages ranged from 21 to 51 and two of them are now brand-new fathers.
The governor also spoke to the families and friends of those who will now serve the Lone Star State as troopers. “I want to recognize the friends and families who are here today,” Abbott said. “The parents, the husbands, the wives, the children, the people who have joined you on this journey. I know they share the pride you have this morning. Members of the law enforcement fraternity have perhaps the truest appreciation of the importance of a supportive family, for anyone who chooses this career path makes a life-changing commitment to law enforcement.”
Before becoming governor, Abbott served Texas as attorney general and was often referred to as the state’s “top cop.”
“I know that the state’s top law enforcement officer is really the officer in uniform on the street,” he said, “the officer people turn to for help in time of need, the officer from whom they expect protection and assistance. The real top cop is the trooper who takes the drunk driver off the highway, the officer who responds to the scene of an accident, even the officer who helps lost or runaway kids reconnect with their families.”
Governor Abbott concluded his remarks by reading a letter to the troopers from 10-year-old Savannah Solis from Tyler, Texas. She wrote, “What you do matters to me. You matter to me. To my heroes, I want to say: Please don’t give up. I will always respect you. I will always honor you. And I will always pray that God keeps you safe.”
The governor then participated in the commissioning of 102 new Texas DPS troopers.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.