SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Don Martin, Public Information Officer for the Tyler Police Department, has been named administrator of the new East Texas Anti-Gang Center.
Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith announced Martin’s hiring in a statement released Friday.
The Anti-Gang Center is a cooperative effort between multiple East Texas law enforcement agencies from several counties as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Department of Homeland Security (HSI).
Its purpose, as stated in information provided by the initiative, is to combat violent gang activity in East Texas.
The initiative has received grants of at least $1.2 million from Governor Greg Abbott.
Some of that grant money went to establish the administrator’s office. In that position, according to Sheriff Smith’s statement, Martin will not serve a law enforcement role, but will be tasked with “the responsibility of ensuring all bills are paid, acquisition of technical and other equipment, reporting the statistics to the governor’s office as well as many other support duties for the law enforcement portion of the TAG.”
The AGC has an executive board of directors. Sitting on the board are Sheriff Smith, Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano, Longview Police Chief Mike Bishop, Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler, Smith County District Attorney Jacob Putman and Texas Department of Public Safety CID Captain Rodney Tandy.