As the US war against drug cartels has intensified, Texas is ramping up its campaign to recruit law enforcement officers to the fight against the cartels, according to reports.
According to local news station KWTX, state officials have asked law school students to sign-up for “law enforcement internships” at local law firms, including the Austin office of Jones & Jones, Kaplan, and Gonzales law office.
In an email to The Intercept, an attorney for Gonzales told The Dallas Morning News that it was not seeking to hire any students to fill law enforcement positions, but it was “a very clear attempt to recruit students into law enforcement, and there are some of them who are qualified for those positions.”
“The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Attorney General’s Office have already received numerous applications and are in the process of reviewing them.
We cannot comment further at this time,” the attorney said.
The emails are just the latest in a series of reports that have revealed the lengths law enforcement officials are going to go to recruit and retain high-quality officers in order to fight the cartels.
The FBI’s recruitment of young officers in 2015 and 2016 helped spark the biggest push against cartels in the US since the 1980s.
The bureau and the Department of Justice both said in February that the cartels were using recruiting tactics to “disrupt and dismantle” the law enforcement agencies.
More than 2,500 Texas law enforcement personnel have been killed in the drug war, with at least 6,500 in Texas alone.
The state is currently fighting an effort to make marijuana legal in the state.
Gonzales’ attorney, Joe Gomez, told the Dallas Morning Journal that the Austin law firm had “a long history of working with law enforcement in the community, and the firm has a very strong reputation for being a safe and welcoming environment.”
“We are not trying to recruit young people into this office, but there is an opportunity for people to be involved in the legal profession in the future,” he said.