Rep. Victoria Neve Criad said, “Lawful permanent residents can serve in the U.S. military…they should also have the right to protect and serve.”
DALLAS — Police chiefs in Dallas and Fort Worth voiced their support Friday in a proposal underway in Austin that could increase the number of officers in their respective departments.
For that to happen, the state of Texas would have to approve allowing legal permanent residents to apply to become police officers as well.
Several other states have already passed measures similar to the one put forward by Rep. Victoria Neave Criad. HB1076 This was done late last year in an attempt to address reported very low staffing levels already reported by the police chief.
at a press conference in dallas police Noe Barrera set an example at headquarters Friday morning. Born in Mexico and raised in Fort Worth, he is a student at his TCU studying criminology and criminal justice. He is a legal permanent resident and has a long way to go to become a US citizen. What are his lifelong goals? He enters the Fort Worth Police Department. He says he meets all the requirements except for citizenship status.
“My life literally stopped when I found out because I always wanted to be an officer,” Barrera said.
Currently, 11 states, including Oklahoma and Louisiana, allow lawful permanent residents (people in the process of obtaining US citizenship) to become peace officers.
Texas is not one of them.
“There’s a labor shortage all over this state,” state legislator Victoria Neve-Criad said. “Law enforcement also faces a shortage. Legal permanent residents can serve in the U.S. military, defend our country, serve, and die. We should have the right to protect and serve.”
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Four Worth Police Chief Neil Nokes are both on the bill.
“House Bill 1076 will greatly assist law enforcement,” Garcia said Friday.
He says the DPD turns down as many as 50 to 100 eligible applicants a month for immigration status.
“They bring their cultural, linguistic and experiential backgrounds to help build bridges and build trust between the police and the community at a time when we need it most,” said Garcia. Told.
Noakes, like Neave Criado, wonders why the police can’t hire these permanent residents when the military can.
“They are privileged to serve the country in which they legally reside, the US military, the largest combat force in the world,” Noakes said. “I think it’s only natural that they should be able to serve the communities in which they legally reside and be privileged to serve the highest profession: the police.”
Of the stringent requirements to become a peace officer, Noakes said there was “no loss of quality.”
“What we are looking for is to increase the number of qualified applicants who can apply to become members of our department.”
Rep. Victoria Neve Criad said HB 1076 could pass the committee and then head to the Texas House of Representatives for a vote.
For people like Barrera, this is an important step in the right direction.
“We just want to serve and protect our community,” said Barrera. “We don’t want the standards lowered. None of that.”
https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/crime/legal-permanent-residents-police-officers-support-dallas-fort-worth-police-chiefs-texas-hb-1076/287-f2138f8a-e273-4455-8b55-019f5808ecea Dallas, Fort Worth Police Chief Endorses Texas HB 1076