Gov. Abbott, Texas DPS release five-year strategic plan for homeland security

Texas

(KXAN Photo: Mark Batchelder)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott along with the Texas Department of Public Safety released a long-term plan for state homeland security focused on protecting Texans from terrorist and criminal attacks.

The plan stretches until 2025 and will add to the foundation set by the previous plan, which was in place from 2015-20.

“While we cannot be certain what challenges the next five years will bring, I know we will rise to meet them, continuing to increase the security and resiliency of our great state,” the governor said in a letter.

The plan is split into three sections:

  • Purpose and Principles – this part establishes the state’s vision for security
  • Texas Homeland Security Environment – this part identifies challenges Texas faces and outlines possible threats and hazards
  • Goals and Objectives – this part identifies security priorities over the next five years

Additionally, there are five main goals the plan covers.

  • Prevent – prevent terrorist attacks and organized crime in the state. This includes enhancing the statewide intelligence capability and coordinating law enforcement operations on human trafficking and border security.
  • Protect – decrease Texas’ vulnerability to terrorist/criminal attack as well as natural and technological disasters. This includes enhancing the security of critical infrastructure systems like communications, energy, transportation and water as well as reducing “the risk of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives.” This goal also focuses on detecting threats to public health early on, protecting Texas schools and beefing up cybersecurity efforts.
  • Mitigate – minimize the impact of terrorist/criminal attacks by planning ahead and having proactive programs in place for infrastructure systems and community outreach programs.
  • Respond – Make the state’s response system more robust and fast to minimize the amount of damage that could be caused by attacks and natural and technological disasters. This means fortifying emergency response team efforts and communications systems, especially for public health threats and cyberattacks, as well as streamlining communication with local leaders.
  • Recover – After an attack or disaster, ensure fast and effective recovery for the community. This includes coordinating recovery efforts between public and private entities and planning to get resources out to communities after an attack may occur.

This plan came out a day after Abbott held a roundtable discussion with law enforcement organizations, including DPS, to identify legislative priorities on public safety issues. He laid out that those include efforts to prevent cities from cutting police funding and bail reform.

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