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Top managers at Texas DPS get raises reaching 17 percent

A Texas lawmaker is questioning double-digit raises for senior managers at the state’s top law enforcement agency because he says it refuses to provide statistics that would help determine the effectiveness of border operations.

The Dallas Morning News ( ) reports that state Rep. Cesar Blanco, D-El Paso, is concerned there’s no way to measure whether the border tactics of the Texas Department of Public Safety are keeping the state safe.

The raises come as DPS significantly expands its presence on the border with Mexico.

Fifty-seven agency managers received raises that reached 17 percent. DPS Director Steve McCraw’s annual salary went from $183,498 to $214,672.

The Legislature this year granted many of the state’s rank-and-file employees a raise of 2.5 percent.

Some South Texas officials, including state lawmakers, have questioned the need for more troopers on the border. Blanco said McCraw has failed to provide statistics on border apprehensions done solely by DPS.

The agency has combined its numbers with federal and local agencies, Blanco said

“The responsible thing to do is to require DPS to measure its success,” he said. “My ultimate goal is to identify whether DPS is effective.”

Since McCraw became DPS director in 2009 he has overseen a sharp expansion at the agency, especially its presence along the Rio Grande. The Legislature this session approved $800 million to DPS over two years for manpower and equipment related to border security.

Among the things that money will buy are the creation of the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center in Hidalgo County and the establishment of a training facility in the Rio Grande Valley. DPS also plans to purchase a second $7.4 million high-altitude surveillance airplane.

McCraw’s increased salary still is less than other state agency heads. Joe Weber, who leads the Texas Department of Transportation, makes $273,000 a year. Brad Livingston, executive director of the Department of Criminal Justice, earns $260,000 annually.

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