The Freer Police Department has received a Border Star Grant for $87,803.65 to assist in its border interdiction operations. The grant comes from the Texas Department of Public Service, Texas Rangers Division and is intended to curb the growing trafficking of narcotics and humans through the City of Freer.

Freer Chief of Police Roy Salazar said the program will help officers with the increase in border-related activity in reagards to smuggling of narcotics and human trafficking.

“This grant means that we will have the funds to pay our officers for more overtime and equipment,” Chief Salazar said. “The funds will also go to vehicle expenses such as gas and maintenance. This grant provides for extra protection for the city by allowing more officers on duty for longer hours.” 

Freer, Alice and Jim Wells and Duval counties are among the many local law enforcement entities that have received the funds intended to beef up local interdiction regarding border traffic, which has increased exponentially in Duval County.

Because of the increase in border-related crimes, which include stolen vehicles and pursuits, the Freer Police Department has suspended all civilian ride-alongs.

The suspension took place earlier this month.

“With so many more incidents occurring involving stolen vehicles and pursuits,” Chief Salazar said, “we have suspended all ride-alongs for the safety of everyone. We can never know what is going to happen during a ride-along, but as we get more and more of these pursuits that lead to bailouts and things of that nature, it is in the best interest of everyone that we suspend these ride-alongs for now.”

No one will be permitted to ride along with the Freer Police Department except law enforcement officials and City of Freer employees.