Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $352,541)
The Western District of Texas (WDTX) has a population of almost seven million people. It includes 68 counties, covers 93,000 square miles, and extends more than 600 miles along the U.S./Mexican border. No other district covers nearly as much border with Mexico. Due to the proximity of the Mexican border, the WDTX works to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that employ violence on both sides of the border. WDTX also aggressively pursues human smuggling organizations and works to combat illegal immigration. Because of the geographic size of the WDTX, the crime and the causes of it are diverse. The WDTX’s PSN objective is to reduce the violent crime in Target Enforcement Areas such as Killeen and Odessa, as well as in the entire District, through interrupting gang activity and arresting shooters. There is also a need for District-wide prevention and re-entry efforts to keep other municipalities from seeing the same violent crime surge. All PSN grant applications must address this objective with at least 30 percent of the funding committed to combating criminal gangs and transnational organizations.
In conjunction with PSN, the WDTX launched Operation Undaunted. This district-centered violent crime initiative draws on partnerships to tackle violent crime and protect the communities of central and west Texas through enforcement, prevention, and re-entry programs. The four pillars are 1. Enhance the use of NIBIN through the creation of NIBIN Task Forces; 2. Target violent and repeat offenders by engaging Texas Anti-Gang Centers; 3. Increase federal Hobbs Act prosecutions; 4. Facilitate military partnerships to assist and support military law enforcement as they respond to violent crime on military bases.
The WDTX’s Research Partner is the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA researchers are working with Odessa Police Department and Killeen Police Department to provide analytic support to gain a better understanding of patterns on who is committing crime, including demographic patterns, geographic patterns, and repeat/chronic offender patterns, as well as best practices for youth crime prevention programs.
Proposed projects should include enforcement, prevention, and/or re-entry programs that serve the entire WDTX or certain areas/cities in the WDTX. Priority consideration will be given to WDTX Target Enforcement Areas of Killeen and Odessa, and projects with at least 30 percent of funding committed to combating criminal gangs and transnational organizations.
WDTX Proposed Budget FY21
Research Partner – 10%
Law Enforcement, Prevention, and Re-Entry in Killeen, Odessa, and District-wide – 90%