The Texas Violent Gang Task Force (TVGTF), established in 1996, is comprised of a multitude of agencies—from the Federal Bureau of Corrections (FBOC) to the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC), from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to the Texas Parole Division, and a multitude of other federal, state and local agencies.
The TVFTF was created to establish a statewide networking system between these diverse agencies to gather intelligence regarding gang membership and gang trends within the State. The State of Texas is divided into six TVGTF regions: Panhandle, North, Central, East, West and South. The TVGTF addresses issues occurring in each of these regions, and shares that information with law enforcement agencies and correctional agencies throughout the State so that the growth and spread of gangs can be tracked. As the TVGTF’s Mission Statement indicates: “its original purpose—to promote inter-agency collaboration to suppress gang activity through the collection and dissemination of gang intelligence information” has “expanded to provide ongoing training in the prevention, intervention, suppression and prosecution of gangs.”
The Texas Violent Gang Task Force Advisory Board is made up of 10 persons approved by the Governor, including representatives from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS), the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC), the Criminal Justice Policy Council (CJPC), the office of the attorney general, three local law enforcement of community supervision personnel and a prosecuting attorney designated by the Governor.
The TVGTF works closely with the Texas Gang Investigator’s Association, an organization made up of law enforcement professionals tasked with investigation of prison gangs, street gangs, cartels, organized crime and related criminal activities.
In addition, the Governor’s Office has begun to establish several Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Tactical Operations Centers throughout the State, the first centers in Houston, North Richland Hills and Weslaco. Plans for a TAG Center in San Antonio are also in the works. These TAG Centers are part of Governor Abbott’s “Securing Texans” plan to combat organized gang activity and the transnational gangs with which they are increasingly affiliating. The goal is to dismantle and destroy these criminal organizations which affect the safety and security of our communities throughout the State of Texas and have a direct impact on border security.