June 13, 2011
US ATTORNEY MORENO MEETS WITH HOUSTON/GALVESTON AREA LAW ENFORCEMENT LEADERS ABOUT OFFICER SAFETY
(HOUSTON) - As part of the Attorney General’s (AG) Law Enforcement Officer Safety Initiative, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno has met with various Houston Division law enforcement agencies at his Houston headquarters office to discuss the most serious threats currently facing our officers and ways to protect and enhance their safety.
The AG's initiative was launched in March 2011 in response to the dramatic rise in the number of federal, state and local officers killed in the line of duty during the previous 15 months. Last year, 2010, was one of the deadliest years on record for law enforcement in nearly two decades when 56 officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty. Even worse, if this tragic trend were to continue, the number of deaths of law enforcement officers killed in 2011 may surpass that of 2010.
“Law enforcement officers and agents put their lives on the line for us every day,” said U.S. Attorney Moreno. “We, in turn, want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to make their jobs safer. It’s a small price to pay for the great sacrifice they, and their families, make to secure our communities.”
In a meeting held today at the United States Attorney’s Office in Houston, Moreno met with various city, village and school district police chiefs, county sheriffs, constables and district attorneys from Brazos, Harris, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Waller and Walker Counties as well as the agency representatives for the Port of Houston police department, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the University of Houston in Clear Lake. Last week, Moreno met with a similar group of law enforcement officials from Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Jackson, Matagorda and Wharton Counties in Richmond at a meeting hosted by Rosenberg, Texas, Police Chief Robert Gracia.
Topics at each of these meetings and others held recently throughout the district have included the potential threats faced by officers and ways to prevent and protect personnel. The discussion included the use to the extent possible of available deconfliction services, which allow officers, prior to conducting enforcement operations, to determine if other agencies are investigating or planning to conduct enforcement operations on the same target, location or event, thereby lessening the chance of tragic “blue-on-blue” encounters.
U.S. Attorney Moreno also shared information regarding available Department of Justice resource programs including VALOR, a national law enforcement training and technical assistance program whose objective is to train officers to identify, prevent and survive violent encounters by establishing a culture of attentive vigilance and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program, which provides sworn officers with bullet and stab-resistant body armor.
With these two meetings, the U.S. Attorney has concluded a tour of the entire district having held meetings with state and local law enforcement officials to discuss and share ideas about officer safety in Laredo, McAllen, Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Richmond.
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