EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) –  The impacts of a nationwide rise in crime was felt through-out the law enforcement community in Texas this weekend as a Special Agent, a Sergeant and a Corporal were all killed in the line of duty.

Officer Douglas Griffith, who is the President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, said that many factors play a part in the rise of violent crimes against Officers of the Law,

“Society in itself has changed. The disrespect shown for law enforcement or any authority for that matter. You see it starting in our schools and going all the way up and it just gets worse. This along with the bail system, the fact that guns are readily available for these criminals, it’s the perfect storm and it’s affecting law enforcement in a very tragic way.”

Special Officer Douglas Griffith -President Houston Police Officers’ Union

Senior officer Griffith saying that because of the current climate, and the violence against officers, it is difficult to recruit and even harder to get a full academy. In addition, he said, it’s becoming more difficult to retain officers who are leaving the force the moving into the private sector,

“They’re not being shot at, they’re being vilified, they’re being told they’re evil.  They can go do something else and make as much if not more money. So we are losing law enforcement across the state of Texas at an alarming rate.”

Griffith saying that over the last couple of years, morale has dropped off considerably,

“All this era of reform for something that most of us don’t really think is broken is taxing on them [officers]. Body cameras show every little thing you do so you’re critiqued on every single move you make on the street. We have officers that are disciplined for simple things like failing to put on your seatbelt when you leave the scene. Or cursing when you’re by yourself in a patrol car. Those things can jeopardize morale and things like that just pushes people away.

According to a recently released report, nearly 460 law enforcement officers were killed last year – that number up 55% from 2020. And as Special Officer Griffith pointed out, those crimes don’t stop even after an officer has been shot, for example in the case of 47-year-old Corporal Charles Galloway – who was shot and killed during a traffic stop over the weekend.

“Its tragic. in fact I saw a video, after the precinct 5 deputy was murdered, two or three people were walking up taking video of him shot in the truck instead of calling for help. That’s disturbing and those individuals need to be charged with failing to render aid. Th fact that you disregard humanity that strongly is just ridiculous. You would go and video a man who is dying instead of go and get help. That is sickening to me, It’s sickening to the other officers on the streets and it shows that people just don’t care. That works on our psyche just like it would anyone else. Its devastating.”

Special Officer Douglas Griffith -President Houston Police Officers’ Union

Special Officer Douglas Griffith -President Houston Police Officers’ Union

Corp. Galloway was shot in Southwest Houston. The very next day Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez -a 20 year veteran in Houston – was killed by a hit and run driver.

This as Special Agent Anthony Salas, according to Governor Greg Abbott, was killed while trying to secure the southern border. Gov. Abbott talking about his death in San Antonio,

“A Texas DPS special agent was involved in apprehending some people who were not just here illegally but were smuggling drugs in the United States. There was a vehicle accident and the DPS Special Agent lost his life.”

In the first three months of Fiscal year 2022, according to data released by Customs and Border Protection – more than 185,000 pounds of drugs have been seized and nearly 500,000 migrants apprehended at the southern border.

Operation lone star, meanwhile, arresting more than 10,000 migrants and enough fentanyl to kill more than 260 million people since the program was launched about 9 months ago.

According to Officer Griffith, if political agendas and court systems continue to take the fore-front more people will die.

“This should not be a partisan issue. This should not be a Democrat or Republican issue. This should be a safety issue. We should be making sure people aren’t becoming victims time and time again and the only way to do that is start in our courts and work our way around.”

Special Officer Douglas Griffith -President Houston Police Officers’ Union

Ken Good, a bond attorney in Texas said that decisions being pushed through the court systems have led to a rise in crime. Groups such as the ACLU suing Judges for setting bails, and attempting to abolish the cash bail system altogether. Good said we’ve seen the simple release policy in places like New York and Houston, and its had a major impact.

“You are taking a system that works and has been proven to work for 200 years and you don’t have something to replace it with and that’s why we are seeing chaos across the country. Harris county has tried simple release. The district attorney issued a report saying that was one of the causes of increased crime. You now have a city councilman in Houston announcing that he was filing judicial complaints against the local judges on behalf of people who have been murdered by people who are out on multiple bonds. Its become a public safety issue.”

Ken Good – Texas Bond Attorney

The 5th Circuit court of appeals recently ruled that Judges cannot be sued for setting bail or using the bond schedule, and little by little the measures to get rid of the cash bail system are being challenged and overturned, due to the spike in violent crime that was a direct result of ridding the system of bail bonds.

Officer Griffith adding that people need to be held accountable for their actions through the courts,

“We know who the worst offenders are, if you’re assaulting a police officer or firing on citizens, you are not a productive member of society and we have to lock them up to keep our citizens safe.”

Griffith said that Law Enforcement officers understand they signed up for the job, but at the end of the day, when something tragic happens, it’s devastating. He also said that law enforcement understands the silent majority agrees with law and order, but sometimes it’s uplifting for an officer to be acknowledged,

“Nothing is better then walking by an officer and saying thank you. We know there is a silent majority that respect what we do, understand us and support us. They may not be as vocal as those that dislike us, but that in itself is all the thanks we need.”

Special Officer Douglas Griffith -President Houston Police Officers’ Union

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