Emails, responses to PolitiFact Texas, Texas Department of Public Safety, Aug. 31 and Oct. 12, 2012

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The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has designated the arrest of high-threat criminals as an enforcement priority, including the arrest of sex offenders who are non-compliant with registration requirements.

 

To achieve this, DPS has teamed up with a variety of local, state and federal agencies in attempting to arrest non-compliant sex offenders.  Since 2011, DPS, along with other law enforcement partners, has been involved in the arrest of 450 felony sex offenders.  To increase our investigative impact, DPS serves on a variety of U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task forces, in addition to our ongoing collaborative work with local and state law enforcement.

 

The following are examples of how DPS works with other agencies in arresting sex offenders who are not complying with the law.

 

 

Tom Vinger

Media and Communications

Press Secretary

Texas Department of Public Safety

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Oct. 12, 2012

1)      Did the “teams” called for by Perry in 2010 end up getting created? If so, are they still in place? What have the results been?

 

Yes, we believe DPS achieved the goals outlined by the Governor in 2010. DPS developed  a “team concept” that allowed the versatility to partner with a variety of law enforcement agencies depending on the strategy and program, in addition to a marked increase in coordination with other agencies as outlined in our original response. For example, DPS joined existing teams, the U.S. Marshals fugitive task forces, with the understanding that the department was placing greater emphasis on sex offenders.  All of these efforts continue today and are outlined in our original response.  In fact, DPS efforts in this arena are the most robust and versatile in agency’s history.

 

These efforts have proven successful and will serve as a platform to even greater success moving forward based on the cooperative relationships forged with local, state and federal law enforcement.

 

Also, please note the updated number in the “compliance checks” bullet to reflect a recent effort by DPS Criminal Investigations agents and the other law enforcement in Panola County Sept. 27.

 

Also, note our Sept. 13 press release as another example of DPS’ flexible team approach to dealing with this issue: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/pr091312a.htm.

 

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) assisted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a recent five day, joint federal and state law enforcement operation across Texas, in which officers with ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 50 undocumented sex offenders and other violators.

 

Original response:

 

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) has designated the arrest of high-threat criminals as an enforcement priority, including the arrest of sex offenders who are non-compliant with registration requirements.

 

To achieve this, DPS has teamed up with a variety of local, state and federal agencies in attempting to arrest non-compliant sex offenders.  Since 2011, DPS, along with other law enforcement partners, has been involved in the arrest of 450 felony sex offenders.  To increase our investigative impact, DPS serves on a variety of U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task forces, in addition to our ongoing collaborative work with local and state law enforcement.

 

The following are examples of how DPS works with other agencies in arresting sex offenders who are not complying with the law.

 

 

2)      We are curious how the state’s apprehension of sex offenders in violation of parole or probation terms has changed since Gov. Perry’s announcement. What were the numbers before? What impact have the announced teams had in comparison to apprehensions (or other metrics) before Perry’s announcement?

 

Four programs (outlined in the original response above) were instituted after or just prior to the Governor’s announcement in Sept. 2010, as was the increase in the overall focus on sex offender enforcement as a mission priority.  All of these programs involve increased coordination with other agencies.

 

Stats prior to this effort are not readily available, primarily because the majority of the programs mentioned were not in existence prior to the Governor’s request.  And as we pointed out in a prior response, the efforts provided “began after or were strengthened after” the Governor’s announcement.”

 

Original answer:

 

The examples provided are efforts involving DPS that began after or that were strengthened after the Governor’s call for increased monitoring of dangerous sex offenders.  The addition of sex offenders as a separate list in the Texas 10 Most Wanted Program started earlier that year at the request of the Governor’s Office.

 

3)      Are all the steps you laid out in your earlier response new since Perry’s 2010 announcement? If not, what did directly result? Put another way, what was the DPS, in coordination with other agencies or not, doing before regarding the apprehension of convicted sex offenders violating terms of probation or parole?

 

Answered in prior responses.

 

 

Tom Vinger

Media and Communications

Press Secretary

Texas Department of Public Safety