Commissioner Staples applauds DPS for protecting landowners by leveraging technology to fight drug, human trafficking

(PR NewsChannel) / June 21, 2012 / AUSTIN, Texas 

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is applauding the success of Operation Drawbridge. Led by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the initiative relies on the installation and monitoring of motion-detecting cameras on farms and ranches near the Texas/Mexico border.

“Operation Drawbridge provides undeniable photographic proof that private landowners are constantly dealing with the dangers of deadly drug cartels and the impact of illegal human trafficking,” Commissioner Staples said. “Thanks to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Border Patrol agents and Texas border sheriffs, the Operation Drawbridge surveillance initiative has clearly illustrated the effectiveness of leveraging technology and law enforcement partnerships when it comes to securing our border and protecting our citizens, including our landowners in rural areas along the border.”

According to DPS, Operation Drawbridge has resulted in the apprehension of more than 2,000 individuals and more than five tons of narcotics since January 2012. The operation continues with more than 250 cameras in service and another 250 cameras scheduled to be installed by the end of the year.

“Contrary to the president’s inaction and despite his administration’s sound bites claiming our border is safer than ever, here in Texas, we continue to fill in the gaps along our border with state resources and innovative measures to protect our citizens,” Commissioner Staples said. “Each day that Washington looks the other way, Texas landowners suffer the harsh consequences of drug and human trafficking. They are pleading for sufficient relief.”

The cameras involved in Operation Drawbridge are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by the Texas Fusion Center, Texas Border Security Operations Center, DPS Communications and U.S. Border Patrol.

“This effort and use of technology is very timely and very much appreciated,” said Texas Wildlife Association President Glen Webb. “We know of many landowners within 100 miles or more of the border who are arming employees for their own protection. In some cases, families are forced to self-impose curfews to avoid leaving their houses at night, which has ultimately led many families to make the decision to move off their own ranches and out of their homes.”

For more details and photos from Operation Drawbridge click here. To view firsthand accounts from Texas farmers and ranchers dealing with the dangers of deadly drug cartels and the impact of illegal human trafficking, go to

Contact: Bryan Black or Lindsey Pope
(512) 463-7664

Direct link:

SOURCE:  Texas Department of Agriculture

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