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News Release

March 10, 2015

Operation Strong Safety Report Highlights Criminal Activity, Vulnerabilities Along Border

Provides recommendations to Texas leaders
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today released an unclassified version of the Operation Strong Safety (OSS) report that was submitted to the 84th Texas Legislature and Office of the Governor as required by the Texas Leadership. In June 2014, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives directed DPS to launch Operation Strong Safety to combat the criminal elements exploiting the Texas-Mexico border. The operation – which integrates local, state, and federal ground, marine, air, and tactical border security assets around-the-clock in the area of operation – remains ongoing today at the direction of state leaders.

“DPS is responsible for protecting and serving the people of Texas, and we are grateful for the Texas Leadership and Legislature’s continued support for our officers who put their lives on the line every day to carry out that mission,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We are proud of the efforts of our law enforcement partners at every level who are working to combat the criminal elements at our border, and DPS will continue to follow the direction of our state leaders in that effort.”

The OSS report was developed in response to a directive by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives to detail how the operation was executed and its impact. The report also includes recommendations for continued efforts to secure the Texas-Mexico border. The Texas Legislature and Leadership will ultimately determine the next steps the state will take with respect to border security efforts.

Findings of the report include:

The OSS report also outlines – and includes recommendations related to – multiple issues, including the importance of moving to a border security strategy that will enable law enforcement to detect and interdict all smuggling events along the border.

“When drugs and people are being smuggled across the border undetected or without being interdicted, it is clear that the border is not secure,” said Director McCraw. “Therefore, any time law enforcement interdicts a smuggling attempt, we consider it a significant gain in the fight against ruthless criminal organizations and their pursuit to make money.” 

“That said, in order to accurately and completely assess the true level of security between the ports of entry, law enforcement must be able to detect ALL smuggling events and determine whether each smuggling event was interdicted,” Director McCraw continued. “In other words, the true interdiction rate along the border can only be determined once law enforcement can detect 100 percent of all smuggling attempts.”

View the entire unclassified version of the Operation Strong Safety report.

Note: The law enforcement sensitive (LES) version of the OSS report was leaked by an unknown source to a news outlet, which subsequently published the LES report on Feb. 25, 2015. The department continues to urge those who have inadvertently obtained a copy of the LES report to refrain from publishing it, as doing so provides information that benefits the cartels and other criminal organizations, and compromises operational security and the safety of law enforcement officers.

### (HQ 2015-28)