AUSTIN (AP) - Ten days before an arsonist set fire to the
152-year-old Governor's Mansion, a Texas Department of Public
Safety trooper assigned to the Capitol expressed concern in a memo
about inadequate security there.
The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News obtained
records under the Texas Public Information Act that documented DPS'
concerns about staffing shortages and weakened security at the
Sgt. Adam Kinslow, who was assigned to the Capitol, said in a
May 29 memo that -- quote -- "our troopers are constantly being
pulled away from their primary responsibility, which is to maintain
public safety and security at the Capitol" -- end quote.
The June 8 fire caused heavy damage to the mansion's roof and
The documents consisting of dozens of DPS e-mail exchanges
indicate concerns dating back to last fall. Some recent complaints
addressed trooper reassignments that exacerbated staff shortages.
Kinslow also wrote in the memo about the diversion of Capitol
troopers to the Governor's Mansion and Honor Guard details, Texas
Supreme Court and Operation Border Star.
He said -- quote -- "not only do we not have the manpower to
spare, many of the troopers we are sending to the border lack
current training and recent experience in patrol procedures, which
is unsafe for them and the public. By sending troopers to Operation
Border Star, security is weakened at the Capitol" -- end quote.
DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said the Capitol isn't in danger and
that troopers sent to the border are properly trained.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)