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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Texas Senate approves law enforcement measures

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate on Monday approved several law enforcement measures, including a $25 million program to provide officers with bullet-resistant vests. It also approved designating July 7 as an annual day of remembrance for officers killed in the line of duty.

The bills were prompted by the ambush-style slayings of five Dallas officers on July 7, 2016.

The grant program would be run by the governor’s office and would provide for bullet-resistant vests for about 50,000 patrol officers statewide.

The Senate also voted to approve homestead property tax exemptions for surviving family members of first-responders killed in the line of duty, and to create the “Blue Alert System” to advise the public about suspects if police officer is wounded or killed.

Each measure now goes to the House for consideration. The homestead tax exemption would be similar to one available to survivors of military members killed in active duty, and would require an amendment to the state constitution.

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