Texas Short on Troopers, Prison Guards, Losing Employees to Oil-Gas Industry


A lack of law enforcement personnel in Texas isn't being helped by the natural gas boom, and the Department of Public Safety is concerned more drugs are flowing into the U.S. with fewer people watching the border, reports the Dallas Morning News. “We don't have enough people, we don't have the resources that we need throughout the state,” public safety director Steven McCraw told a Senate committee. In many cases, troopers aren't paid enough and many cannot juggle the long hours and small pay.

McCraw said they're also now competing with the oil and gas industry boom, losing troopers with 10 or more years of experience to South Texas oil and gas facilities, which pay more. The problem with retaining troopers extends into the Board of Pardons and Paroles, which is experiencing a shortage of prison guards and has been offering signing bonuses to recruit more guards. The public safety department has asked for a one-time funding shift of $11.2 million in general revenue to beef up border security with the purchase a $6.3 million surveillance airplane, $1.1 million motorized river patrol boat and a $3.8 million for other surveillance measures.

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