In an effort to prevent budget cuts to police departments, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the back-the-blue pledge on Wednesday in Houston.
“They are disgraceful and they are reckless,” Abbott said. “It invites crime into our communities and it endangers law enforcement officers and their families.”
Abbott gave a speech at the Houston Police Officers’ Union where he was joined by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and other officials.
As he spoke, Abbott promised to “fight any efforts” aimed at defunding police departments around the state. “It’s a commitment to fight any efforts at any level to defund the police,” Abbott continued, noting the need to defend the men and women who “keep us safe.”
41-Year Veteran Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston Killed in Line of Duty https://t.co/YSRGip4pkt
— BreitbartTexas (@BreitbartTexas) October 20, 2020
“We have a duty to support the men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe,” Abbott added.
Abbott also called into question the need to have the state police certain areas in the city of Austin, which, in August, voted to cut the police department budget by $150 million.
“We will not allow that core function to be undermined by the cities that seek to defund and dismantle the law enforcement agencies that have a sworn duty to preserve and protect their communities,” Abbott affirmed.
“We will pass laws that support law enforcement & defund cities that defund police,” Abbott wrote in a tweet as he celebrated the signing. “We will keep communities safe.”
Today I was joined in Houston by leaders of the Texas Senate & House to sign the #BackTheBlue pledge.
We will pass laws that support law enforcement & defund cities that defund police.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 28, 2020
At the signing, Lt. Gov. Patrick offered praise for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has consistently called for additional funding and support services for police officers who respond to nonviolent calls. Additionally, with reforms, Turner has increased the Houston police budget by $20 million.
“They are not a Republican. They are doing the right thing,” Patrick said. “The judges in this county are not. The DA is not. Police go out there and put their lives on the line, arrest someone and they are out the next day … hardened criminals.”