*Note: The general often deviates from prepared remarks.

Thank you, Director Maxwell, and thank you for your excellent service to the State of Texas at every step throughout your career.

Good morning. It’s my honor to be with you all today to spend some time and express my gratitude for your dedication to your jobs at the Office of the Attorney General. You all work hard for the people of our state and you play a key role in our overall mission: protecting the people of Texas.

As an agency, overall, we do that in a variety of ways, filing lawsuits against encroachment into our state sovereignty, standing up to purveyors of consumer fraud and ensuring that people who owe child support pay what they owe. But none of those ways are as literal as how you protect and defend Texans every day you go to work. 

You track down and apprehend some of the most elusive fugitives in Texas, bringing them to justice, and ending uncertainty for their victims. Congratulations, by the way, to the Fugitive Apprehension Unit for recently passing the 6,000-arrest milestone. You utilize the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators on the Internet. In so doing, you live, virtually, the nightmare of online child exploitation so that real children, and their families, won’t have to.

You’re helping make a dent in human trafficking operations taking on what is essentially a modern-day slave trade and putting the perpetrators behind bars. I could go on all day about the ways you make positive impacts on our state. Nobody knows that as well as other law enforcement organizations across Texas.

Working with agencies on the county, city, state and federal level, you lend your own expertise to ongoing operations and help them make the arrests, often accepting a mere fraction of the credit that you deserve. Of course, you’re all peace officers so you know that your jobs, all too often, are thankless.

Well, again, let me take a moment to reinforce that the people of Texas are lucky and grateful to have you on the front lines against crime. I’m proud to have you as part of the Office of the Attorney General, as you are among the most visible representations about the lengths our office will go to in order to protect Texans.

The transition hasn’t been entirely seamless, but it’s gone about as easily as I can imagine any transition might go. The good news, from our perspective, is we took over an agency that was already well-run, so it’s mostly a matter of taking a good agency and making it even better. And, yes, that includes getting the funding necessary to make sure the elevators run and the roof doesn’t leak into the evidence room every time it rains.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is your dedication to your job and to the people of Texas and my gratitude to you.

God bless you and may God continue to bless Texas.