AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. Greg Abbott said today the time for talking is over and it's now time to take action on gun violence.
Abbott spoke with reporters in El Paso following a meeting with the legislative delegation there. He announced $5.5 million dollars in assistance to the city. He also announced he’ll be convening roundtables this month to discuss legislative proposals to address gun violence, racism and hate crimes.
"Our job is to keep Texans safe. We take that job seriously,” Gov. Abbott said. “We will act swiftly and aggressively to achieve it."
Gov. Abbott similarly called for roundtables after the 2018 school shooting in Santa Fe where 10 people were killed.
About $550,000 in financial grant assistance will go to law enforcement agencies who responded to the shooting on August 3 to aid in reimbursement for overtime costs.
About $5 million in financial grant assistance will be administered through the following services and initiatives throughout the El Paso community:
- Psychological First Aid: Through the Local Mental Health Authority Emergence Health Network, psychological first aid and crisis counseling is available immediately and will be offered free of charge and long-term to survivors and those in the community experiencing vicarious trauma.
- State Behavioral Health Services: At Abbott request, Texas Health and Human Services Commission has deployed CJD-funded staff from HHSC’s Disaster Behavioral Health Services section to coordinate behavioral health assistance to the local community, conduct behavioral needs assessments, and provide strategic planning and care coordination with local service providers.
- County Reimbursements: The state can aid the prosecution of the alleged suspect through funding streams available at CJD. This includes expert witness fees, investigation, increased security, juror fees, and more. Indigent defense or related defense costs are not eligible. Costs associated with overtime for El Paso County’s Office of the Medical Examiner and Sheriff’s Office for increased correctional needs are also eligible.
- School-Based Mental Health Services: CJD is offering funds to ensure Independent School Districts have the on-site resources they need to support students affected directly or indirectly. Referrals for youths with higher acuity behavioral health and psychological needs will also be available.
- Family Resiliency Center: To support the long-term needs of the community, CJD will provide funding to establish an FRC in El Paso. As implemented in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and other communities that experienced a mass shooting, the FRC will be a focal point for community services including mental health needs, legal services, faith-based assistance, and public information.
- Post Critical Incident Seminars: PCIS is an intensively focused therapeutic seminar with an emphasis on peer support to assist first responders suffering from traumatic stress. These seminars are eligible for CJD funding.
Click the video link about to watch our interview with Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso. He was part of the meeting with the governor and weighs in on what else was discussed, including gun control legislation like red flag laws and background checks.
COMPREHENSIVE EL PASO COVERAGE:
- Some Skeptical as Trump Prepares to Visit Sites of Shootings
- O'Rourke: Trump "Has No Place" in El Paso
- Group Makes White Crosses to Honor El Paso Shooting Victims
- Blood Donations Spike After Weekend Mass Shootings
- Local Leaders and Activists Speak at San Antonio Vigil
- State of Texas to Seek Death Penalty for Man Suspected of Killing 20 in El Paso
- How to Help Victims in El Paso: Blood Donations, Vigil in San Antonio
- Gov. Greg Abbott Orders Flags Flown at Half-Staff in Wake of El Paso Shooting
- El Paso Shooting Victims Include Mom Who Died Protecting Her Baby
- Lawmakers React to El Paso Mass Shooting
- El Paso Community Unites Following Mass Shooting
- We Are Blood to Assist El Paso With Donations Following Shooting