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Border Sheriffs Get Fed Funding

San Antonio Express-News via YellowBrix

December 18, 2009

WASHINGTON — A $446.8 billion spending bill for various federal agencies, passed by the House on Thursday, includes $4.8 million in funding for county sheriff departments along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The funds were tucked into the bill by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. She said the money would be used to pay for overtime, hire additional personnel and purchase equipment.

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“Not only will it increase the number of deputies patrolling the border, but it will enable sheriffs and deputies to keep watch for longer, and with better equipment,” Hutchison said.

The funds were sought by the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, whose members participated in Gov. Rick Perry’s Operation Linebacker to combat narcotics and marijuana smuggling along the border.

The legislation also authorizes $100 million in grants for the next five years to help law enforcement agencies investigate criminal activity along the border.

The spending bill for fiscal 2010, which began Oct. 1, now goes to the Senate for final approval.

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