Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Border Sheriffs ED won't solve coordination problems

I'd like to learn more about the structure of funding and management of the millions of dollars Governor Perry is throwing at border enforcement through programs like Operation Linebacker and Operation Wrangler.

A new executive director has been named by the Border Sheriffs Coalition (a former DEA and Customs Agent and El Paso Sheriff's Deputy named Donald Reay), but that doesn't change my worries about the lack of a viable chain of command to oversee beefed up border enforcement. For starters, what authority does this new executive director have over the members of his Coalition? Answer: None. They're elected officials who aren't actually beholden to him.

Beyond that, which is just one piece of the puzzle, one wonders what is the relation between this coalition, the national guard troops, and the 11 joint intelligence centers the Governor has established? How will they be integrated into the Department of Public Safety's command structure? How is all this being coordinated, and by whom, and where does the buck stop when something goes wrong?

These questions remain unanswered, but they're the kind of questions that should have been asked before we ever started pumping millions of dollars into programs that don't appear to reduce crime.

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