The Texas Highway Patrol will soon hit the water. The Rio Grande, actually.
Arguing the federal government continues to do too little, too late to protect the U.S.-Mexico border, the state of Texas feels compelled to pick up the slack.
The Rio Grande Valley, the 120-mile-wide stretch of the Texas-Mexico border in the deepest part of Texas, has become the nerve center for Mexican drug cartel cross-border activity.
Other agencies – such as the U.S. Border Patrol and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - already have boats in the area. But soon, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will have its own boat unit.
The Texas Highway Patrol, a division of DPS, will launch in March the first of six 34-foot-long patrol boats on the Rio Grande. The $3.5 million effort comes through a combination of federal homeland security grants and state funds.