AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) is speaking out against the proposed closure of several Department of Public Safety (DPS) offices in West Texas.
This week, Landgraf drove to Austin and met with DPS officials to express West Texans’ concerns over the proposed closures of the Andrews, Kermit and Monahans DPS offices — as well as the impact such closures would have on the remaining area DPS offices in the midst of an oil boom.
“The rest of the state at times seems to be unaware of the oil boom here in the Permian Basin,” Landgraf said. “With the population growth we’re experiencing and the unprecedented demand for commercial drivers in our area, we need DPS driver license offices in West Texas now more than ever.”
Landgraf also penned a letter to the Texas Sunset Commission, voicing his concern over proposed closures. All told, the commission is suggesting to shutter 87 DPS offices across the state.
In the letter, Landgraf noted that the commission’s recommendations place an unfair burden on rural communities, as the majority of the proposed office closures are in counties with only one DPS office.
"While I understand the need to find cost efficient solutions within the agency, I don’t believe the proposed DPS office closures, without any proposed remedies for loss of access is unacceptable to rural taxpayers," Landgraf said.
Currently, the Sunset Commission has neither approved nor denied any proposals to close DPS offices.
“I’m confident that through the discussions I’ve had at the Capitol that we will save these offices from the chopping block,” Landgraf added. “I’ve pleaded our case, and expect to receive a favorable decision next week.”