Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – South Padre Island, TX - Today, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was presented the "Border Super Hero Award" by the Border Prosecution Unit at their Region 3 Training in South Padre Island. The Border Prosecution Unit (BPU) is an initiative involving the Texas Department of Public Safety and each of the district attorneys in the border jurisdictions of Texas. In each of these offices, an assistant district attorney is assigned to handle a specialized caseload of border crime cases.
Senator Hinojosa was instrumental and led the effort alongside Governor Rick Perry in 2009 to create and fund the BPU for the purpose of providing dedicated prosecution resources in aid of state border security operations. As Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hinojosa secured the initial $2 million to be administered as a trusteed grant program through the Criminal Justice Division in the Office of the Governor.
In 2015, Senator Hinojosa joined State Representative Oscar Longoria in authoring and passing House Bill 12 which formalized the duties and responsibilities of the BPU and designated it to be a unit in the Office of the Governor. In 2019, Senator Hinojosa continued his commitment to the BPU and successfully fought to secure an additional $3 million from the previous budget for a total of $15 million for the 2020-21 budget.
Senator Hinojosa expressed his appreciation for the honor of this award:
"I am honored to receive the Border Super Hero Award from the Border Prosecution Unit. For the past ten years, I have witnessed the BPU's key role in combating crime and securing our communities. Our border prosecutors face unique challenges dealing with large numbers of drug trafficking, human smuggling, and money laundering cases with limited resources.
"I'm pleased that the initial investment of $2 million I secured in 2009 has now transformed to $7.5 million per year for training law enforcement, providing investigators, and improving coordination of prosecution efforts all along the border. I appreciate the leadership and work of Jaime Esparza, BPU Project Director, Tom Krampitz, General Counsel, and Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez and look forward to continue working together to fight against criminal organizations and keep Texans safe."