Hidalgo, Cameron counties among jurisdictions to receive Stonegarden funds

A US Border Patrol agent patrols north side of border wall at the edge of a sugarcane field March 30, 2016 near Progreso. photo by joel Martinez/jmartinez@themonitor.com

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday a $15 million award for law enforcement resources to address the “crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a news release.

The award, part of $30 million in Operational Stonegarden Grant Program funding approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be used to increase and improve the “operational” capacity of federal, state, and local agencies along the border, the release states.

“The state of Texas is committed to utilizing these resources to continue to help secure our southern border,” Abbott said in the release. “I am grateful for our continued partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the additional funding the agency is providing to help carry out this mission. These grants will provide much-needed support for the men and women of law enforcement who are working to combat the crisis at our southern border.”

DHS/FEMA allocated more than $30 million in OPSG funding to the State of Texas last year, which was an increase of more than $10 million from the prior year

The aforementioned agencies work in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, and U.S. Border Patrol agents to develop “Operations Orders” that support border security needs identified by each corresponding Border Patrol sector along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Once all federal reviews of planned operations are complete, the state will be able to draw the funds to participating law enforcement agencies, like those in Hidalgo and Cameron counties, to name a few, according to Abbott’s office.

Other local jurisdictions receiving funding through the most recent awards include 50 law enforcement agencies located in counties: Bee, Calhoun, Dimmit, Duval, El Paso, Jim Wells, Kinney, Kleberg, Nueces, Presidio, Refugio, Val Verde, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata, the release states.