Posted: Feb 15, 2013 6:34 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2013 6:45 PM
SULLIVAN CITY - Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol agents are increasing their presence in Sullivan City, officials said.
Local residents said the increase in patrols is overdue. They said their small community has become a hot spot for drug and human smuggling.
Sullivan City's police department is small, and some residents said the department is part of the problem.
"There is a lot of crime," Hector Flores said. He is a 30-year resident of the town.
"There are not enough police officers here," Flores said.
Flores said the town's police department can't keep up with the needs of the community.
"I know everybody here. I just don't want to be put in the middle of anything," another Sullivan City resident said.
The resident, who asked not to be identified, said the police department contributes to the rising crime problem.
"Everybody can get away with whatever," the resident said.
Border Patrol and Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department officials said they want to change the perception locals have of law enforcement. The also intend to crack down on crime.
"The men and woman of the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector and Sullivan City police ... are here to get the job done," Rio Grande Border Patrol Sector Chief Rosendo Hinojosa said.
The town's police department has been without a chief for almost a year.
"I want to see more protection," Flores said.