FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, February 14, 2022
Patrick Statement on Harris County Rejecting Law Enforcement Funding Request
“A slap in the face to its citizens…”
HOUSTON, TX – Lt. Governor Dan Patrick issued the following statement after Harris County rejected most law enforcement requests for additional resources:
“Last week, the Harris County Commissioners Court approved a budget plan rejecting 82 percent of funding requests from law enforcement agencies in the county. This is extremely frustrating and unacceptable.
“County Commissioners Tom Ramsey and Jack Cagle offered budget amendments that would have provided funding for more officers. These recommendations came from the Harris County sheriff, constables, and district attorney. Additionally, this plan would have added 500 law enforcement positions.
“The Harris County Commissioners Court rejected this budget, and instead voted 3-2 for a raise for sheriff’s deputies, which was far less than the budget requests from law enforcement officials. The Harris County Deputies Organization criticized the budget for not adding more officers and argued that Lina Hidalgo has sold out its citizenry and law enforcement by ignoring this budget. I could not agree more.
“Harris County’s decision to ignore law enforcement’s budget is a slap in the face to its citizens. Crime rates only continue to skyrocket in Harris County. People are begging for safer streets, and our police officers have outlined the resources they need to combat this dangerous spike in crime, yet the county commissioners are turning a deaf ear.
“Our law enforcement officers go to work every day willing, if needed, to risk their lives for total strangers. We have seen far too many funerals for police officers killed in the line of duty. The job becomes more dangerous each day. We must restore respect for members of law enforcement and give them the resources they need to do their jobs in keeping the public safe.
“I am proud of the work we have done in the Texas Senate to support our law enforcement. We passed a bill that stops the defunding of police. It will require local governments to secure voter approval before passing a budget that reduces or reallocates funding originally dedicated to law enforcement. Counties that do so without voter approval will have their property tax revenue frozen.
“Rest assured; counties that choose to defund the police will be held accountable.”