EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Some of our East Texas law enforcement officials were invited to fly over the Rio Grande and get an up close and personal look on Operation Secure Texas. East Texas benefits from the state's heightened efforts to secure the Texas-Mexico border.
The East Texas authorities just flew over the 1,200-mile stretch dividing Texas from Mexico.
"I've been asking them to quit taking our troopers so much, and they wanted me to come down and see why they were needed so badly there. I understand it," said Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace.
"They send this stuff over on rafts, motor boats, jet skis, anyway that they can get it across," said Tom Selman, Angelina County's Pct.1 constable.
Excessive drug and human trafficking brought about the $800 dollar "Operation Secure Texas" effort.
"DPS, because of their commitment to keep the people of Texas safe, they have stepped up their patrol," Selman said.
"It's still mind-boggling what's taking place there and what was happening," Wallace said.
The authorities traveled to learn more about the unified patrol, tactical operations, and detection technologies being used to protect Texas.
"This is a job that our federal agencies should be doing, but Texas has decided that what they are doing is not enough," Selman said.
"Slowing down the drug smuggling and human smuggling by the drug cartels and different criminal elements, it helps all of us," said Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches.
It especially helps law enforcement in East Texas.
"Through our area here on Highway 59, it is a drug corridor," Selman said.
DPS reports positive stats on the state of the border since the operation was launched. Over 140 tons of narcotic deliveries were intercepted since 2015.
"Obviously, they can still get their hands on it, but it makes it a little more difficult to get," Wallace said.
Our East Texas officers were able to gain understanding of border patrol efforts that directly affect our region. It's a team effort that is yielding promising improvement.
"All the law enforcement agencies on the border were working well together, whether is be the federal, state, county, or city," Sanches said.
Since "Operation Secure Texas" started, DPS reports they detected around 150,000 crimes.