Crime Stat FAQ

September 2, 2020

Why should local and state law enforcement agencies be concerned about crime in other countries?

The world has dramatically changed over the last two decades and today’s threats are increasingly transnational, organized and rapidly evolving. Criminal and terrorist incidents and conspiracies in other countries impact communities throughout the state and nation, especially so when key elements of the conspiracies occur in Texas.  The challenge for law enforcement agencies at all levels is to quickly and accurately identify emerging threats and proactively address them with evidenced based strategies.

Why do local and state law enforcement agencies need access to federal law enforcement and intelligence community information?

Local law enforcement agencies are on the front line of protecting their citizens and need far greater access to cross jurisdictional data than ever before to support timely tactical and strategic decision making. The cornerstone of proactive, effective and efficient law enforcement strategies and operations is the timely access and analysis of cross jurisdictional investigations, crime incidents, corroborated intelligence and suspicious events.  Improvements are needed in the sharing of meaningful information and intelligence which enhances both public safety and national security.

Do the Index Crimes in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics provide enough relevant data for law enforcement agencies to accurately assess crime problems in their jurisdictions?

The State of Texas as most other states relies upon the eight reported UCR Index Crimes to assess crime in and across our communities.  This index was established in the 1920s and does not include data relevant to assessing transnational organized crime such as kidnappings, extortions, public corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering.   The adoption of the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) would address these and other categories of crime relevant to assessing the impact of Mexican Organized Crime in our communities.

Why does Texas track these additional categories of criminal activity?

The Texas Border Sheriffs and others recognized the need to collect and centralize certain data to support unified patrol operations and requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to do so.  DPS worked with its local, state and federal partners to establish a process to collect this data on a daily basis within the border region which has been expanded to the corridors used by the Mexican Cartels.   Daily and weekly reports are provided to members of the Unified Command to support data driven tactical decision making within each Border Security Sector within the State.  The Mexican Cartel crime statistics listed below are not all inclusive as most of the crimes are not reported or the links have yet to be established.  The categories include:

Marijuana  seizures
Cocaine seizures
Methamphetamine seizures
Heroin seizures
Cash seizures
Weapon seizures
Public Corruption
Illegal Alien apprehensions
Criminal Aliens
Arrest of Cartel members in Texas
Mexican Cartel recruitment of Texas school age children
Shootings at law enforcement officers
High speed pursuits and use of Caltrops
Splash downs
Stolen Vehicles recovered in Mexico
Known or Suspected Cartel related murders
Known or Suspected Cartel related kidnappings and extortions

Why does DPS track statistics on criminal aliens?

Opportunistic criminals from around the world enter the U.S., both legally and illegally, and commit crimes in Texas. Since 2008, Texas has participated with the DHS Secure Communities initiative which enables law enforcement to identify criminal aliens booked into Texas jails.  Additional information regarding DPS’s participation in Secure Communities can be found at Secure Communities Statistics for Texas.

What law enforcement agencies participate in Operation Border Star?