Reynolds: State trooper mission to Texas was funded by Iowa

By: - July 12, 2021 4:48 pm

Gov. Kim Reynolds joined the governors of South Dakota and Nebraska at the Tri-state Governors’ Conference in South Sioux City, Nebraska. (Screenshot from KTIV livestream of press conference)

Nearly 30 Iowa State Patrol officers are currently assisting at the U.S.-Mexico border in a trip financed by Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday.

The state announced in June that it would send some Iowa state troopers to the border for two weeks, responding to a request for assistance from Texas and Arizona. The State Patrol did not say how many individuals would go, where they would be stationed or what they would be tasked to do while there.

Reynolds shed some light on the mission during a news conference while attending the Tri-state Governors’ Conference Monday in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

She revealed that 29 state troopers are stationed near Del Rio, a border town about 150 miles west of San Antonio. The officers arrived “a couple days ago” and will stay in Texas for 16 days. Reynolds did not share details about what the state troopers would do during the mission.

A San Antonio-based CBS affiliate, KENS 5, reported in late June that Del Rio was seeing record numbers of people crossing the border, with the border patrol encountering over 1,000 migrants a day. Del Rio Border Patrol Sector Chief Austin Skero told KENS that the out-of-state troops would help patrol ranch roads.

The 29 state troopers are in addition to about 30 Iowa National Guard soldiers who have been at the border for “quite some time” doing drone surveillance, Reynolds said.

Iowa is paying for the state troopers to assist in Texas. The Associated Press reported Monday that Iowa is donating the troopers and equipment “at no cost to Texas.”

“We sat down with the commissioner before we sent them down to make sure that they felt that they could not only handle the safety of the citizens of the state of Iowa but had the resources to go down there, and they assured us that they did,” Reynolds said.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, both Republicans, have also sent officers to the border. Noem said South Dakota sent 50 National Guard officers to the border to help with “observation posts” along the Rio Grande river. Ricketts sent 25 state troopers to Del Rio to assist local law enforcement.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.