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Ricketts defends lack of reimbursement for troopers' Texas trip

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 12:20:34-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska state troopers that had been in Texas for 24 days are on their way back.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said he was disappointed the issue had become political. Critics say the trip to assist Texas, said to help with increasing illegal border crossings, was motivated by politics.

Related: Border security or political stunt? Ricketts, critics discuss Nebraska state troopers in Texas

More criticism has come after it became clear Nebraska might not be reimbursed for the expenses, which the governor said will cost about $500,000.

Ricketts said the request for assistance in Texas was urgent, so reimbursement could not be guaranteed. He said he hopes reimbursement will happen.

"My understanding is… Democrats in the Texas legislature have fled… to D.C., to avoid a special session," Ricketts said. "And so they're basically holding up the reimbursement possibilities."

Texas Democrats are in Washington D.C., saying their lack of presence in the state is blocking legislation that would attack voting rights.

See the full press conference here or on Facebook. The topic is the Developing Youth Talent Initiative until the 14:55 mark, when the topic switches to the Nebraska State Patrol.

An Omaha World-Herald opinion piece suggested Ricketts should pay the cost out of his own pocket should Texas not reimburse the state. Unpromoted, Ricketts brought up the piece.

"That's a terrible idea," he said. "That's really shocking stuff."

Col. John Bolduc, head of the Nebraska State Patrol, gave highlights of how the troopers helped. They rode along in the same car as Texas law enforcement agencies. He highlighted:

  • 500+ traffic stops
  • 25 vehicle inspections
  • Assisted in 15+ human trafficking arrests
  • Located gang members
  • Assisted in child sex offense cases and vehicle thefts

For more, watch the video at the top of this page.

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