This week Congressman Henry Cuellar announced $1,899,545 in federal funds will be awarded to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and $18,825 to the city of Mission Police Department.
Cuellar held a press conference on Tues. Oct. 20, 2020 at the Mission Center for Education and Economic Development to discuss the funding. The money for the Mission PD will be used to purchase an additional 30 body-worn cameras for officers.
According to a press release the funds were awarded through the Department of Justice’s Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program to Support Law Enforcement Agencies initiative, and “will work to improve public safety, reduce crime, and strengthen public trust between police and the residents they serve.”
“It’s critical our police officers have the necessary resources to protect lives and improve police-community relations in our community,” Cuellar said. “These funds will allow the Department to purchase additional body-worn cameras in order to enhance transparency, promote accountability and advance public safety for law enforcement officers and our city.”
Law enforcement agencies across the United States are seeing the benefits of body-worn cameras. Bodycams provide evidence for legal procedures, law enforcement training opportunities based on the analysis of the captured video and enhanced safety of, and improved interactions between, both police officers and the public.
“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fund programs that support our law enforcement and protect our community,” Cuellar said. “I would like to thank the city of Mission, including Mayor Armando O’caña, city council, and Chief of Police Robert Dominguez, for their commitment to improving officer and community safety as well as increasing mutual trust.”
Cuellar also announced $1,899,545 in federal funds to UTRGV. These funds, awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovation Grants On-Farm Trials program, will be used to “implement on-the-ground approaches to improve soil health for farming across the region.”
“Farmers in rural America are essential to our nation,” Cuellar said. “We depend on agriculture to strengthen our economy and provide domestically grown sources of food for the American public. This funding will allow for UTRGV to collaborate on research as well as test innovative, progressive conservation tactics in order to find ways in sustaining vital resources.”
Cuellar, as a senior member on the Appropriations Committee, said he will continue to ensure that programs like these will continue to be funded because they enable Institutions of Higher Education to work with various stakeholders in researching and implementing cutting-edge practices.
Through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, this funding will support a widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. UTRGV will collaborate with Texas State University, the National Center for Appropriate Technology and Texas producers on this project.
Efforts will focus on the long-term regional implementation and evaluation of cover crops and improved or reduced tillage practices in degraded, subtropical soils on arid, water-limited farms. Researchers will recruit historically underserved farmers across the region to receive technical and financial assistance to improve soil health.