News Release

October 11, 2012

Texas Department of Agriculture Awards $225,000 to DPS for Operation Drawbridge Expansion

Operation Drawbridge - click for larger view

SAN ANTONIO — Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw and Public Safety Commission (PSC) Chair Cynthia Leon today joined Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in San Antonio as he presented a $225,000 grant to DPS to expand the successful Operation Drawbridge program.  Operation Drawbridge is a program led by DPS, the border sheriffs, and U.S. Border Patrol, who install and monitor motion-detecting cameras located on farms and ranches near the Texas/Mexico border.

“We are grateful to Commissioner Staples for this critical funding, which will significantly bolster our ability to monitor illegal activity along the remote areas of the Texas border,” said DPS Director McCraw. “Operation Drawbridge and the dedication of the men and women of the Sheriffs’ Offices and U.S. Border Patrol in the border region are helping to make Texas more secure every day by working together and leveraging technology.”

Operation Drawbridge has resulted in the apprehension of approximately 4,000 individuals and 10 tons of narcotics since January 2012. Operation Drawbridge is fully operational today with hundreds of cameras located along the border. This funding will essentially double the number of cameras involved in the program. For operational security purposes, the exact number and location of the cameras are not available.

Operation Drawbridge - click for larger view

“This grant is another critical step toward securing our southern border,” Commissioner Staples said. “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. DPS will now be able to double its current surveillance capabilities and provide much-needed assistance to the men and women risking their lives daily to protect Texas land, residents and our food supply from border violence and spillover crime from dangerous Mexican drug cartels.” 

“As long as criminals continue to exploit our border, they can count on us to be watching for them,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon. “This funding will greatly enhance the scope of view for the law enforcement officers working together through Operation Drawbridge and monitoring these cameras for illegal activity, which will further increase the security of our border communities.”

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.

For more information on Operation Drawbridge, visit: http://www.dps.texas.gov/PublicInformation/operDrawbrdg.htm.

### (HQ 2012-117)