Governor Greg Abbott Thursday held a roundtable discussion in Austin with law enforcement and public safety advocates to discuss his legislative priorities. Following the roundtable, the Governor held a brief press conference to provide a summary of the discussion and outline the proposed legislative strategies.
During the roundtable, Abbott and state law enforcement officials and police union members discussed the importance of combatting efforts to defund the police. The leaders and Governor Abbott also discussed bail reform.
"Here in Texas, we will never turn our back on our law enforcement officers," said Governor Abbott. "We will not allow cities to recklessly defund the police and put innocent lives in danger…Texas must pass laws that give cities a clear choice, either fulfill their duty to keep their residents safe, or lose access to all of their tax revenue.”
The Governor also noted that he is working with the Legislature this session to reform the Texas bail system that he referred to as “broken” and “allows dangerous criminals to go free”. Abbott’s calling for lawmakers to pass legislation that would expand the criteria that judges must consider when setting bail and increasing the qualifications of judges who can set bail.
The Governor was joined for the roundtable by:
Frederick Frazier - 1st Vice President, Dallas Police Association; State Legislative Chair, Texas Fraternal Order of Police
Mitch Landry - Deputy Executive Director, Texas Municipal Police Association
Kevin Masters - Senior Strategy Analyst, Office of the Governor's Public Safety Office
Colonel Steve McCraw - Executive Director, Texas Department of Public Safety
Manny Ramirez - President, Fort Worth Police Officers Association
Marvin Ryals - President, Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas
Alden Southmayd - Sheriff, Bee County
Joell Sullivan-McNew - President, SafeHorns
Jennifer Tharp - Criminal District Attorney, Comal County