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On Fronteras: A Push For Police Body Cams; Help For Refugees; Women Oil Workers

Ryan Poppe
Texas Public Radio
Police confrontations have prompted a surge of interest in equipping officers with body cameras.

  This week on Fronteras:

--Texas is the number one U.S. destination for refugees.  The decision to leave home for the journey is a tough choice.

--In the wake of police confrontations, more Texas police departments are buying body cameras for their officers.  

--A Texas company is a go-to source in the growing market for police body cameras.

--Mexicans who have been departed say it’s hard to earn the parole they need to fight their cases in the United States.

--Women make up only 25 percent of workers in the male dominated oil business. 

Struggling Refugees Get Help In Texas

For many refugees, the decision to leave home and move to another country, is about survival. When refugees come to the United States, they often leave everything behind, including their jobs. So one of the biggest challenges once they get here is simply making a living. KERA’s Courtney Collins reports on help for refugees in Texas.


Deported Pastor Wins Parole To Fight His Case

Every day, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency receives requests for what it calls parole: permission for foreigners to enter the United States without a visa. Parole is often requested for medical or family emergencies but it's usually denied.  Fronteras reporter Jean Guerrero of KPBS reports on one deported pastor was granted his wish.


A Texas Call For More Police Body Cams

McKinney, Texas, got national attention almost two weeks ago when police officer Eric Casebolt resigned after he pushed a teenage girl to the ground, then pulled a gun as other teens approached.  The incident was captured on video, but none of the videos showed the officer's perspective.  KERA’s Lauren Silverman says the incident has strengthened the call for police across Texas to wear body cameras.


Body Cams Prove Valuable In California

Rialto, California, was one of the first police departments in the country to equip officers with body cameras. Police Chief Tony Farrar says his department tracked their use for a year and found the wearable cameras to be a valuable public safety tool.

“After that year we had an 88 percent reduction of complaints against police officers and a 60 percent reduction in use of force instances.  The results there are truly significant,” Farrar said.

The City of San Antonio has also tested body cameras.  Now they’re purchasing them police how patrol on foot or by bike and don’t have cameras mounted in their cars.

San Antonio Police Chief Anthony Trevino says the cameras will help the department be more transparent with citizens if they have questions about an incident. He believes citizens may act more reasonably if they know officers are videotaping an arrest or encounter

Texas Company Outfits U.S. Police With Body Cams

Altercations with police in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City and McKinney, Texas, have spurred calls for officers to wear body cameras. KERA’s Lauren Silverman continues her report by taking a look at a North Texas company that outfits police across the country.


Women Networking In Oil Business 

The oil industry is dominated by men. In 2013, just 25 percent of American oil and gas workers were women.  Even fewer were in the executive offices.  But there are some female leaders in the energy industry as Lana Straub of Marfa Public Radio reports.   


A women oil workers’ group called Pink Petro launched in the Permian Basin June 18, and Women’s’ Energy Network hopes to start holding meetings in the Basin next year.

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.