Courtesy Brenda Medina,
Laredo, TX (Webb County) – Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, together with more than 120 Sheriffs from across the state, congregated at the Capitol in Austin on Wednesday in an effort to rally support from Legislators as the 84th Texas Legislature is underway.
During the visit, Sheriff Cuellar also met with the Laredo-Webb County Legislative Delegation, which includes State Senator Judith Zafirrini and State Representatives Richard Raymond and Tracy King.
On top of Sheriff Cuellar’s agenda is to gather support for more funding for border security and to make changes to the child predator law, the latter being a national epidemic that is also plaguing Webb County.
In his efforts to defend the most vulnerable population, Sheriff Cuellar is proposing a law that states that the intent to commit a sexual crime on a minor is enough to make an arrest.
“The law needs to change to where contact with a minor to commit a sexual act is enough to make an arrest,” said Sheriff Cuellar. “If we wait to catch the suspect in the act, it is already too late.”
In Webb County alone, more than 10 cases have been dismissed since last year as a result of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling.
“These are ten individuals who are now free and roaming our streets in Laredo and Webb County … ten adult individuals who had a sexually explicit conversation with a minor,” said Sheriff Cuellar. “These are our children whom they were trying to lure and to take advantage of. We need to put a stop to it.”
Also during his meetings with Sen Zafirrini and Reps Raymond and King, Sheriff Cuellar stressed the need for more funding for border security.
“We need more boots on the ground,” Sheriff Cuellar told the Legislative Delegation. “The border area that Webb County covers has a growing population and we need more deputies to continue keeping our citizens safe. There is so much more we can if we only we were giving adequate staffing and funding.”
“Using advanced technology and being ahead of the criminal elements by assessing real threats through intelligence, such as fusion centers, will keep this community safe,” Sheriff Cuellar added.