Texas Legislature, deal with public safety this session

To our new Texas Legislators: Congratulations on your election! After an extended and sometimes tense election cycle, it is finally time to go away your districts, go to Austin and do the work of the people who elected you.

With the addition of many new state senators and representatives, the 28,000 members of the Texas Municipal Police Association – the most important regulation enforcement affiliation in Texas – consider this legislative session has nice potential. However all of us have work to do with a view to maintain Texans protected. And it is work we must do collectively.

The security and prosperity of each neighborhood in Texas depends on a strong regulation enforcement presence; that requires a profitable partnership between residents, elected leaders and cops. As a way to keep thriving, skilled police departments, and to make our neighborhoods safer and more livable, it will be significant that we tackle important regulation enforcement issues in 2019.

A crucial concern for regulation enforcement that typically goes voiceless is officer advantages. We ask that lawmakers and city leaders throughout Texas maintain the promises made to the women and men who shield our communities 24/7, three hundred and sixty five days a yr, by protecting our benefits.

Financial security is a small part of the overall sacrifice cops make, however the importance of defending pension benefits cannot be overstated. Otherwise, veteran officers will proceed to go away our career, and depart our streets patrolled by fewer and fewer-experienced officers.

Making certain the regulation continues to aspect with the innocent and regulation-abiding, relatively than the guilty and corrupt, can also be important to our success. It’s in this spirit that we oppose reductions in arrest authority for class C misdemeanors.

Furthermore, we oppose the present motion to finish asset forfeiture. This only helps the drug cartels which are exploiting our porous border and wreaking carnage in our cities. It is clear the asset forfeiture regulation that permits regulation enforcement to grab automobiles and different property of felony drug gangs reduces crime in our cities.

We’ve got no concern with the present motion to scale back penalties for nonviolent offenders, as a result of we need to efficiently reintegrate these offenders into society. But those that are a menace to our security and the general public shouldn’t obtain lowered penalties.

Police officer associations will proceed to battle to protect dues assortment, so we will appropriately symbolize our members. There are those who continue to misrepresent the usage of dues deductions for police associations, but listed here are the information: the dues collected by way of payroll deduction in Texas are utterly voluntary, which means there isn’t a “justifiable share” in Texas. These dues help officers injured in the line of obligation – and the families of these killed while protecting our communities. Additionally they permit regulation enforcement associations to help Little League Baseball & Softball packages, Blue Santa and lots of other charitable causes within their communities.

We might also wish to see policymakers return to the dialogue of points that have an effect on the vast majority of Texans, as an alternative of partaking in wedge debates based mostly on false narratives about our career. Should you ever have regulation enforcement questions, we are solely a telephone name away.

Let’s return to President Reagan’s dinner desk metaphor and acknowledge that what will get mentioned on the dinner desk is what ought to be discussed on the floor of the Home and Senate. These meat-and-potato points are, in fact, schooling, healthcare and public security.

We’d like a thoughtful strategy to creating our communities safer and freed from political affect. Let’s make 2019 the yr we return to rational, considerate policing policies that permit officers to do their jobs, which is to maintain all of us protected.

Aaron Crowell is president of the Texas Municipal Police Association.

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