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Lorne Mataon / Marfa Public Radio

Numbers Up For Central American Minors Trying To Enter U.S.

In the summer of 2014, more than 100,000 Central American children and families were caught trying to enter the US illegally. Those numbers fell after the US asked Mexico to strengthen its southern border. But now there are concerns over the possibility of a renewed surge.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

*Correction appended

After discovering that a Houston psychologist was vouching for the mental health of future police officers without meeting them face-to-face, the state's law enforcement licensing agency is revamping its entire system of screening police, jailers and dispatchers to prevent those with apparent mental issues from joining any Texas police force.

Virginia Alvino / Texas Public Radio News

In light of recent police shootings in Texas and around the country, the communities of Schertz and Cibolo held a rally Monday to show support for their local law enforcement.

A sea of blue filled the parking lot, as residents donned the traditional color of law enforcement to say thank you for their services.

Among the hundreds of residents in attendance were Adrianna Cook and her two year-old son Aden.

“I’m actually here more for my son - to show that police are your friends and they’re not out to get you," says Cook. "And he’s loving it.”

Ryan E. Poppe

 

 

In the wake of several high profile incidents involving African-Americans and police officers, the Texas chapter for the NAACP is stepping up its efforts to limit the potential for racial profiling by local police officers.  The launch of that effort is happening just days ahead of this year’s Juneteenth celebration.

 

Most people know to hang up on con artists supposedly calling from the power company or the IRS, demanding money. The problem is, there's little the police can do — even when the scammers go so far as to impersonate the police themselves.

The fake police scam, or "spoofing," has been making the rounds for the last year or so.

Cmdr. Joseph Chacon of the Austin Police Department's intelligence division says they saw a wave of these calls this spring from people claiming to be Austin police.

Drunk Driver / CC

AUSTIN — Texas took a major step toward allowing the licensed open carry of handguns, with Senate approval coming late Friday night after a fierce debate over restricting police powers to ask people carrying guns if they are legal. The open carry bill was expected to easily pass the Republican-majority chamber but got tangled in a bipartisan move to add a ban on police from stopping people solely because they are visibly carrying a handgun.

The vote came less than a week after a biker shootout in Waco killed nine, an incident that was raised several times in the debate.

The bill still needs a final vote in the House, which passed a nearly identical version last month. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has pledged to sign an open carry bill into law. Supporters of the police restriction came from both sides of the aisle, Democrats who thought it would prevent harassment of law-abiding citizens and racial profiling of minorities, and Tea Party-backed conservatives and libertarians who thought it would protect against the unreasonable search and seizure of licensed handgun owners. 

Ryan E. Poppe

The Texas Senate is considering  a "sanctuary city” bill that would encourage local law enforcement to take a more active role in checking the immigration status for people they come in contact with.    The San Antonio Police Department, and others across Texas,  have organized to fight the bill saying it would interfere with public safety.

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

AUSTIN — State police agencies are making fewer arrests and fewer traffic stops than the same period a year ago, a drop-off that local officials attribute to sending hundreds of troopers to help secure the Texas-Mexico border.

The Dallas Morning News reports Highway Patrol citations have fallen 14 percent from the previous year, new investigations started by the state criminal investigations division have fallen 13 percent and Texas Rangers arrests have fallen by 25 percent.

AUSTIN — As national unrest swells over police officers not indicted in high-profile shootings, a Texas House panel is trying to calm public concerns that prosecutors who investigate officer-involved incidents are biased.

Parents of children shot by Texas law enforcement officers told the newly created Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement on Thursday that they are concerned about the lack of indictments.

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