DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Governor Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that Iowa Department of Public Safety officers have concluded their deployment to the U.S. Southern Border to aid law enforcement and border security efforts.
The mission, "Operation Lone Star," provided the Department’s support to the Texas Department of Public Safety in the Del Rio area from July 10-20. The support was in response to a request in June from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey seeking law enforcement support from all 50 states.
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The request was made through Iowa’s existing EMAC, a national interstate mutual aid agreement administered by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management that enables states to share resources during a disaster.
28 Iowa DPS law enforcement officers volunteered to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety with traffic duties, humanitarian efforts, tactical operations and human smuggling operations. Those officers included 12 Iowa State Patrol Troopers, 12 tactical operators, three command staff supervisors and one bilingual investigative agent.
Troopers paired with Texas Highway Patrol Troopers to provide public safety in the Del Rio area. Troopers also worked the Rio Grande River crossing area, helping with rescue efforts and addressing humanitarian concerns.
The mission of tactical operators focused on disrupting criminal activities with teams identifying and searching locations where human smuggling was occurring, identifying drug/narcotics offenses and performing surveillance activities designed to identify criminal activities.
“The situation at the U.S. southern border was and remains a humanitarian crisis, with consequences that reach far beyond Texas and Arizona,” Reynolds said. “As the federal government effectively ignores its constitutional duty to secure our border, states like Iowa must act. By participating in Operation Lone Star, Iowa law enforcement played an important role in promoting humanitarian aid as well as safety and security of all Americans.”
Agreements between Iowa and Texas showed Iowa donated the use of state troopers and their equipment at "no cost to Texas." A spokesman for the governor's office said there is still a chance Texas could eventually pick up the costs of the mission.
According to a release from the governor's office, they will continue to evaluate the needs at the border and whether the state’s law enforcement might be useful again at the border.