Local County Asks for Federal Taxpayer Dollars

Tarrant County Sheriff's Office patrol units
Tarrant County Sheriff's Office patrol units | Image by Tarrant County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Tarrant County commissioners decided to ask for an earmark request to receive $10 million in federal taxpayer money to help fund the construction of a shooting range for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.

In 2023, the commissioners court authorized upgrades for the department’s training facilities after opting not to erect a new training center, according to KERA News. The shooting range will cost $18 million.

Commissioner Alisa Simmons, who was not a big fan of the public safety project, expressed satisfaction that the county was finally asking the federal government for money for local projects, per KERA News.

Earmarks came back in 2021, and several large Texas counties have used the opportunity to ask for federal dollars. This month’s request is Tarrant County’s first since the practice returned.

The commissioners court voted unanimously last week to submit the request to Rep. Kay Granger’s (R-TX) office.

Granger is not running for re-election after nearly three decades in public office. Some members of the community urged the commissioners to use the time the representative is still in office to request more money while they still can, in light of her experience in pursuing such requests.

Still, the spending on public safety has not come without critics. Laura Leeman, a Democratic candidate for Precinct 3, called the project “completely disconnected from the county,” reported KERA News.

Others, however, defended it.

“We felt like the need right now is to provide more comprehensive, more complete, better training and equipment to our jailers. This is the quickest and most efficient and effective way to do it,” Commissioner Manny Ramirez previously told the Fort Worth Report.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, a poll conducted last year showed that 38% of Dallas residents said their top concern in town was crime and public safety.

Budgeting only $654 million for the Dallas Police Department this year, Dallas City Council members chose to spend less taxpayer money on law enforcement than other high-crime jurisdictions like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

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