Gov Abbott Speaks to Sheriffs Conference, Says “Respect for Law Enforcement Must Be Restored”

During a visit to North Texas Monday, Governor Greg Abbott called for an end to the "cowardly targeting of law enforcement officers."

He gave remarks at the 139th annual Sheriffs Association of Texas conference, which is taking place at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine.

He told the packed room of sheriffs and deputies from across the state that respect for law enforcement officers must be restored in our nation -- citing multiple incidents in Dallas, San Antonio, and Harris County where officers were killed in ambush style attacks.

"No more are we going to tolerate disrespect for those who serve," said Abbott.

He then touted several pieces of legislation which he believes will better protect law enforcement in Texas, including a bill he signed expanding the state's hate crime laws to include targeted attacks against first responders.

The law also stiffens penalties for individuals who commit crimes against law enforcement.

Abbott also told the crowd he's working to free up $25 million in grant money that agencies could use to buy rifle-resistant vests.

"I have faith in the greatness of Texas and in the role the Texas Sheriffs play in our great state," said Abbott. "And as Governor, and on behalf of all the people of Texas, I again thank you for your service and your sacrifice."

Abbott also spent time during his remarks defending Senate Bill 4, the controversial "sanctuary cities ban" that he signed into law earlier this year.

He said the intent of the law is to identify and remove dangerous criminals, such as gang members and human traffickers -- not to detain "hard working families and innocent children".

Opponents have decried the measure as discriminatory, saying it amounts to nothing more than a "show me your papers" law.

Abbott is also scheduled to meet with Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price on Tuesday.

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