Texas Governor Welcomes Former California Police Officers to ‘Law and Order’ State

Texas Governor Welcomes Former California Police Officers to ‘Law and Order’ State

Texas Governor Greg Abbott holds a press conference at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Feb. 4, 2024. (Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images)

Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

5/16/2024

Updated: 5/16/2024

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After an international publication reported that some law enforcement officials are moving from California to Texas, that state’s governor, Greg Abbott said he welcomes them.
“Hundreds of cops flee California to Texas blaming [California’s] soft on crime policies,” Mr. Abbott posted May 12 on X. “Welcome to Texas. We support our law enforcement officers [and] demand law and order.”
He cautioned the newcomers about voting for progressive policies, suggesting that such are the root cause of the problems they are looking to escape from.
“[N]ever forget the leftist policies that you fled and always vote the right way,” Mr. Abbott said.
While there is no concrete evidence of how many officers have relocated to Texas, the Daily Mail report suggests that some former California officers are choosing to move to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Though it’s unclear how many officers have left the state in recent years, staffing shortages exist in many departments across California, and the number of police employed in the state has dropped significantly since peaking in 2008, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
Approximately 3,600 sworn officers left their positions between 2020 and 2022, according to a January report from the institute.
Following the article’s suggestion that many are headed to Texas, the governor vowed to maintain the status quo in the Lone Star State that prioritizes obedience to the law.
“There’s no doubt about it: Texas is, and always will be, a law and order state,” Mr. Abbott posted May 13 on X. “We won’t allow lawlessness to take over our streets. As long as I am Governor, Texas will always back the blue.”
With the news coinciding with National Police Week, the governor expressed his gratitude for all individuals working in law enforcement in Texas.
“To our brave law enforcement—you have a Governor who always has your back,” Mr. Abbott said. “Thank you for protecting your fellow Texans every day.”
Staffing shortages are also impacting some departments in Texas, with the cities of Austin and Houston both reeling from a lack of applicants in 2024, according to reports from both cities.
The two municipalities have become more lenient toward criminals in recent years, with bail reform and progressive policies leading to fewer arrests and less jail time for those convicted of certain crimes, according to experts.
Regarding policing strategies, Texas employs more law enforcement per capita, with a population of 30.03 million, including approximately 140,000 law enforcement officers. California has 148,000 officers for its population of 39.1 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Crime rates between the two states are mixed, with Texas having a higher per capita rate of homicides, though more people were murdered in California, as of 2022, the most recent data available from the Golden State.
Texas experienced more rapes in 2022, whereas California led in most other categories, including by significant margins for robbery, larceny, and motor vehicle theft, according to both states’ department of justice statistics.
Sentences for crimes are also disproportionately higher in Texas than in California, with a tiered misdemeanor schedule in the Lone Star State that includes state and county jail sentences for crimes including theft and drug possession. Some of those crimes were made non-arrestable offenses in California following the passage of Proposition 47 by voters in 2014.
Such has led to a decline in the prison population in California, with about 100,000 inmates spread across the state in 2022, while Texas had more than 133,000 incarcerated during the same year.
Police and sheriff’s departments in California reported to be affected by the loss of officers to Texas, including Fresno and San Bernardino, respectively, did not respond to requests for comment on deadline.
Similarly, departments in Texas that were said to have gained applicants, including Lewisville and Denton, were contacted for comment but also did not respond on deadline.
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Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

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Travis Gillmore is an avid reader and journalism connoisseur based in California covering finance, politics, the State Capitol, and breaking news for The Epoch Times.

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