Congressman Michael Guest introduced a bill this week to reauthorize the Operation Stonegarden Authorization Act within the Department of Homeland Security. The program provides grant funding to local law enforcement agencies involved in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations and can be used for equipment or personnel needs or other appropriate activities to support the CBP mission. The legislation is part of the American Security Agenda set by the Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Mike Rogers (R-AL).
Congressman Guest said he believes that the bill would support the law enforcement community and could help curb the transportation of illegal drugs across the southern border.
“Our law enforcement agents risk their lives to keep our communities safe. As a nation, it’s imperative that we provide the men and women of law enforcement with the proper equipment to perform their duties,” said Guest. “Operation Stonegarden will provide necessary resources to agencies tasked with protecting the borders of the United States. In 2017, 91 percent of heroin, 93 percent of the cocaine, and up to 97 percent of methamphetamine were manufactured in South American countries. I believe these resources could be used to help keep these illicit narcotics out of our communities by providing additional resources for border patrol law enforcement agencies.”
In FY2018, Mississippi law enforcement agencies received $308,471 from Operation Stonegarden grants.
“Operation Stonegarden recognizes the efforts of partner law enforcement agencies to secure our borders by providing them with critical grant funding,” said Ranking Member Mike Rogers. “Formally authorizing the program will bolster the local, state, and federal entities that serve as a force multiplier to the men and women on the front lines of the border. I appreciate Rep. Guest’s efforts that will help keep America safe and secure.”