AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – In an effort to help secure the Texas-Mexico border, Governor Greg Abbott announced $365,000 in grant funding Friday for the Border Prosecution Unit.
The BPU is made up of 17 district and county attorney offices within the Texas border region that focus on investigating and prosecuting cases related to narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, organized crime, gangs, and other border-related crimes. This grant brings the total amount awarded to the BPU this year to $6 million, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.
The Texas Border Prosecution Unit was established in 2009 by the 81st Legislature.
“Texas has made great strides in securing our southern border, and the Border Prosecution Unit has been effective in helping investigate and prosecute criminals,” said Governor Abbott. “The BPU is an essential resource in the fight against some of the worst border-related offenses in our state, and I thank them for their continued commitment to keeping drugs and criminals off the streets.”
The Governor’s Homeland Security Grants Division administers the grant program which funds prosecution resources for district and county attorneys along the border and in counties significantly affected by border crime. The HSGD has 20 active BPU grants for 2018.
The grants support salaries for prosecutors, paralegals and investigators, as well as training for unit members and law enforcement agencies. Last fiscal year, the BPU programs reported more than 5,200 cases filed and 2,800 individuals attending training sessions.
The counties receiving additional funds include: Bee, Cameron, Dallas, Hidalgo, Uvalde, Webb and Zavala.
In addition to this new grant, border prosecutors, investigators, and other support personnel will gather in Austin next week for the annual BPU Conference.