Sheriff addresses law enforcement's role in Victoria (video)
May 9, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.
Updated May 10, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.
Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor addressed members of the Chamber of Commerce at their monthly luncheon Wednesday.
Because of the geographical location of Victoria, it is a major artery for gang activity, drug transportation and human smuggling, O'Connor said.
O'Connor expounded on the history of the war on drugs along the Texas border and the advances made through funding, better technology and cohesion between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The Victoria County Sheriff's Office has partnered with 20 other sheriff's offices in southeast Texas in addition to joining forces with the U.S. Marshals and other federal agencies.
Emergent technology has increased the effectiveness of the manpower available, O'Connor said, and he spoke in favor of Saturday's Victoria College bond election promoting continued education in technology.
The sheriff showed a breakdown of the different criminal enterprises, including cartels, drug traffickers, smugglers and terrorists, showing the different criminal activities they participate in and the tools they use.
Criminal entities have demonstrated blatant disrespect for law enforcement and are passing these sentiments on to younger generations, O'Connor said.
Through programs such as Gang Resistance Education And Training - a school-based program to discourage bullying and participation in gang related activity - local law enforcement is working to get ahead of the game.
"The stakes are very high. You will be proud to know that local law enforcement through funding and grants have ramped up our operations," O'Connor said. "We can't match them dollar-for-dollar, but we can interrupt and apprehend them with our advanced technology."