McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced the opening of the state’s latest anti-gang center on Monday in Laredo.
Abbott was in the border town for a ribbon-cutting of the new Texas Anti-Gang Center (TAG) — the ninth such center of its kind in the Lone Star State.
TAG will work with the Laredo Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to curtail cartel- and gang-related crimes.
“Laredo is a vibrant city and a hub of international commerce, and we know that safe communities promote robust business,” Abbott said “This new anti-gang center will help us achieve the goal of keeping Laredo a safe city. Gang activity is not unique to Laredo—it spans across Texas and is growing more dangerous by the day. Our job is to find these criminal elements, arrest them, and put them out of business.”
Texas Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, Laredo Police Acting Chief Steve Landin, Laredo Mayor Dr. Victor Treviño, as well as U.S. Border Patrol and other federal and state officials were on hand for Monday’s ceremony.
The governor said the facility will be a “force multiplier in joint gang enforcement operations” for the Laredo border region. It is being funded as part of the Governor’s Public Safety Office, which is involved with border safety issues, as well as terrorism preparedness.
In September, Abbott signed an executive order declaring Mexican drug cartels as “terrorist” organizations and instructing DPS to take aggressive action to stop fentanyl from crossing from Mexico into Texas.
Other TAG Centers currently operational on the border are in McAllen and El Paso. Other facilities are located in: Dallas/Fort Worth; Houston; Lubbock; San Antonio; Tyler and Waco.